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La donna del lago



La donna del lago

Gioachino Rossini

3 disc set

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Rossini’s La donna del lago (Naples, 1819) was not only the first Italian opera to be based on a work by Sir Walter Scott, the narrative poem The Lady of the Lake: it was also a milestone in the... read more

BUY TRACKS
Song title Time Format Price
playstop01 La donna del lago : Act I: Sinfonia01:05
playstop02 La donna del lago : Act I: Recitative and Introduction: Del di la messaggiera 03:54
playstop03 La donna del lago : Act I scena II: Duet: Oh mattutini albori! 04:16
playstop04 La donna del lago : Act I scena II: Qual suon! Sull'alta rocca 03:07
playstop05 La donna del lago : Act I scena II: Duet: Scendi nel piccol legno 03:43
playstop06 La donna del lago : Act I scena III: Duet: Uberto! ah! dove ti ascondi? Uberto! 03:48
playstop07 La donna del lago : Act I scena IV: Duet: E in questo di? 02:30
playstop08 La donna del lago : Act I scena V: Duet: Sei gia nel tetto mio 04:03
playstop09 La donna del lago : Act I scena VI: Duet: D'Inibaca, Donzella 03:05
playstop10 La donna del lago : Act I scena VI: Duet: Sei gia sposa? ed e Rodrigo 02:15
playstop11 La donna del lago : Act I scena VI: Duet: Quali accenti! e deggio in seno 02:50
playstop12 La donna del lago : Act I scena VI: Duet: Ma son sorpreso 04:50
playstop13 La donna del lago : Act I scena VII: Recitative and Cavatina: Mura felici, ove il mio ben si aggira! 02:51
playstop14 La donna del lago : Act I scena VII: Recitative and Cavatina: Elena! oh tu, che chiamo! 04:05
playstop15 La donna del lago : Act I scena VII: Recitative and Cavatina: Oh quante lacrime finor versai 03:07
playstop16 La donna del lago : Act I scena VIII: Recitative and Cavatina: Signor, giungi opportuno: al vallo intorno 03:20
playstop17 La donna del lago : Act I scena VIII: Duet: Taci, lo voglio, e basti 03:44
playstop18 La donna del lago : Act I scena VIII: Duet: E nel fatal conflitto 01:45
playstop19 La donna del lago : Act I scena VIII: Duet: Vivere io non sapro/potro 03:51
playstop20 La donna del lago : Act I scena IX: Duet: Qual rapido torrente 03:18
playstop21 La donna del lago : Act I scena IX: Duet: Eccomi a voi, miei prodi 02:36
playstop22 La donna del lago : Act I scena IX: Duet: Ma dov'e colei, che accende 02:54
playstop23 La donna del lago : Act I scena IX: Duet: Premio di dolci ardori 02:46
playstop24 La donna del lago : Act I scena IX: Duet: Alfin mi e dato, amico 01:30
playstop25 La donna del lago : Act I scena IX: Cavatina: Vieni, o stella che lucida e bella 01:40
playstop26 La donna del lago : Act I scena IX: Cavatina: Quanto a quest'alma amante 05:47
playstop27 La donna del lago : Act I scena IX: Cavatina: La mia spada, e la piu fida 01:31
playstop28 La donna del lago : Act I scena IX: Cavatina: Questo amplesso, a te fia pegno 01:59
playstop29 La donna del lago : Act I scena IX: Cavatina: Crudele sospetto 02:45
playstop30 La donna del lago : Act I scena IX: Cavatina: Sul colle a Morve opposto 02:02
playstop31 La donna del lago : Act I scena IX: Finale: Gia un raggio forier 03:21
playstop32 La donna del lago : Act I scena IX: Finale: Su ? amici! guerrieri! 01:40
playstop33 La donna del lago : Act II scena I: Cavatina: Oh fiamma soave 08:23
playstop34 La donna del lago : Act II scena I: Cavatina: Si, per te, mio tesoro 03:20
playstop35 La donna del lago : Act II scena I: Cavatina: Alla ragion deh rieda 04:07
playstop36 La donna del lago : Act II scena I: Cavatina: Nume! se a' miei sospiri 04:51
playstop37 La donna del lago : Act II scena II: Trio: Qual pena in me gia desta 01:39
playstop38 La donna del lago : Act II scena II: Trio: Parla ? Chi sei? 06:32
playstop39 La donna del lago : Act II scena III: Trio: Quante sciagure in un sol giorno aduna 04:09
playstop40 La donna del lago : Act II scena III: Aria: Ah! si pera: ormai la morte 04:51
playstop41 La donna del lago : Act II scena III: Aria: Douglas! Douglas! ti salva! 03:13
playstop42 La donna del lago : Act II scena IV: E tanto asasti? 03:45
playstop43 La donna del lago : Act II scena V: Attendi: il Re fra poco 00:54
playstop44 La donna del lago : Act II scena V: Che sento! 02:05
playstop45 La donna del lago : Act II scena V: Stelle! Sembra! Egli stesso! - scena VI: Eccolo! amica sorte 01:33
playstop46 La donna del lago : Act II scena VI: Imponga il Re: siam 01:33
playstop47 La donna del lago : Act II scena VI: Ah! che vedo! qual fasto! 04:51
playstop48 La donna del lago : Act II scena VI: Rondo: Tanti affetti in tal momento 07:38

Rossini’s La donna del lago (Naples, 1819) was not only the first Italian opera to be based on a work by Sir Walter Scott, the narrative poem The Lady of the Lake: it was also a milestone in the development of romanticism in Italian opera. Still to this day, we cannot fail to respond when Rossini writes an enchanting aubade for his Elena as, making her first appearance, she rows her skiff across the placid mountain waters of Loch Katrine. Still today, we are stirred as the Scottish chieftain Roderick Dhu gathers his warrior clansmen, and a chorus of bards fires them with courage and daring.The seventh of nine operas which Rossini wrote for the Royal Theatres of Naples, La donna del lago was composed for Isabella Colbran, the Spanish soprano who, in 1822, became his wife; for Giovanni David and Andrea Nozzari, two tenors who, since they were stable members of the San Carlo company throughout these years, became associated for all time with his operas; and for Rosmunda Pisaroni, one of the great mezzo-sopranos of the age who specialised in male travestì roles. Created by four singers of such extraordinary accomplishment, it is little wonder that this proved one of the most successful of all Rossini’s serious operas. Recorded at the 2006 Edinburgh International Festival, with the Edinburgh Festival Chorus and Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the opera is conducted by Maurizio Benini.

Booklet includes complete libretto with English translation.

'Carmen Giannattasio - a prima donna is born' - Andrew Clark, Financial Times

Carmen Giannattasio (Elena), Kenneth Tarver (Giacomo), Patricia Bardon (Melcolm Groeme), Gregory Kunde (Rodrigo di Dhu), Robert Gleadow (Douglas d’Angus), Francesca Sassu (Albina), Mark Wilde (Serano), Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Maurizio Benini – conductor

ACT ONE

SCENE 1.  An elaborate set shows the Scottish mountain of Benledi, with Loch Katrine nestling in a valley at its foot.  As dawn breaks, huntsmen traverse the slopes, and shepherds and shepherdesses set out to their day’s work in the valley.  A small skiff appears on the loch: Elena, the Lady of the Lake, is at the oars and sings an aubade in which she greets the dawn but regrets the continuing absence of the man she loves, Malcolm Groeme.  As she reaches the shore and disembarks, she is hailed by a huntsman whom we soon identify as Uberto, Knight of Snowdon.  Declaring that he has been separated from his companions and has lost his bearings, he asks her help, and she offers him the hospitality of her rustic cabin on an island in the middle of the loch.  Uberto, who spontaneously feels amorously drawn towards her, accepts her invitation, steps into her skiff, and accompanies her across the lake.

Huntsmen, Uberto’s companions, descend from the cliffs in search of him.  They disperse in different directions, agreeing that the first who catches sight of him should signal his discovery to the others.

SCENE 2.  The island dwelling of Ellen and her father, Douglas d’Angus.  A rustic cabin, its walls are decorated with weapons.  Douglas, formerly the tutor of King Giacomo V (James V) of Scotland but now out of favour and exiled, has been given shelter here by Rodrigo di Dhu (Roderick Dhu), the formidable chief of the Highlanders.  Serano, one of Douglas’s followers, informs Albina, Elena’s attendant, that Rodrigo is expected there that very day.  His purpose in coming is to gather his clansmen in resistance to Giacomo, who is endeavouring to bring the Highlands under his centralised control.

Albina anticipates the coming of Rodrigo with some concern, since she is aware that Douglas, in gratitude for the hospitality and protection he has received, has promised his host Elena’s hand in marriage.  Yet she also knows that Elena, already in love with Malcolm, is unable to reciprocate Rodrigo’s passion. 

Uberto, ushered in by Elena, is surprised to see the weapons adorning the walls, especially since he is certain that he recognises them as belonging to Douglas, from whom he has been so long estranged.  He is clearly ill at ease, and becomes increasingly anxious to depart when Elena confirms that Douglas is her father. 

Elena’s female companions come to give her their morning greeting, but strike an unwelcome note as they remind her of Rodrigo’s suit: her reaction is one of dismay, while Uberto betrays signs of jealousy.  He guesses correctly that she loves someone other than Rodrigo, but, misled by the strength of his own feelings, incorrectly assumes that it is himself.

Elena offers him a draught of beer by way of Highland hospitality and accedes to his wish to depart and rejoin his companions.  She refuses, however, to allow him to kiss her hand, telling him that no such strange customs are practised in the Highlands.  She retires to her apartments, while Albina ferries Uberto back to shore.

The stage is no sooner empty than Malcolm appears, returning after an absence of several months.  His happiness is qualified by fear that Elena may yet be snatched from him, and he is relieved when, standing aside to witness the manner in which she greets her father, who also returns at this moment, he notes that she tries to prevaricate and deflect any talk of marriage by saying that the unsettled times render such ideas untimely.  Douglas, unaccustomed to have his wishes thwarted, sternly rebukes her, but then, hearing a distant fanfare of trumpets, goes to welcome Rodrigo. 

Malcolm comes forward to embrace Elena, and together they renew their declarations of love and loyalty to each other.

SCENE 3.  A mountain-girt plain, with a distant view of Loch Katrine.  Rodrigo is joyfully acclaimed by the clansmen and welcomed by Douglas, but less ardently greeted by Elena.  Her evident confusion arouses his suspicions that her heart may belong elsewhere, and these suspicions are intensified when Malcolm, coming to salute him, betrays shock and dismay when he hears of his hopes to marry Elena. 

Personal tensions are, however, set aside as Serano brings news that Giacomo’s forces are advancing towards them.  Rodrigo calls upon a band of bards to arouse all to battle-pitch, and the clansmen, one and all, swear either to conquer or to die.  At this moment a meteor flashes across the sky.  Rodrigo and Douglas interpret this as a favourable omen, and, while the womenfolk retire in Elena’s wake, the clansmen march to battle.

ACT TWO

SCENE 1.  A thick wood, with a cave on one side where Douglas has brought Elena for safety. 

Uberto enters, disguised as a peasant.  The passion that he has conceived for Elena has brought him hither at his peril, but he is initially disconcerted when she scarcely remembers him, and even more abashed when he hears that she had interpreted his compliments as expressions of courtesy rather than of love.  By dint of severe struggle he manages to overcome his feelings for her.  Before he leaves, he declares that he once saved the King of Scots from danger and was rewarded with the gift of a ring, which he now in turn bestows upon her.  He assures her that if ever she, her father or her lover should find themselves under threat, she has only to present the ring to the King to be assured of protection and pardon. 

The latter part of this colloquy has been observed by a third party: Rodrigo steps forward and challenges Uberto.  The latter proudly declares his allegiance to the King, and taunts Rodrigo by suggesting that he has been deserted by his followers.  Rodrigo promptly calls upon the clansmen, who emerge in strength from their hiding-places in the undergrowth of the wood.  Despite Elena’s attempts to keep the peace, Rodrigo and Uberto go off to fight in single combat.  A distraught Elena and the clansmen follow.

SCENE TWO.  The interior of the cave.  Malcolm, in search of Elena, tells Albina that the expected battle is in heated progress, and that the royal forces have broken the ranks of the clansmen.  Serano brings news that Douglas has gone to give himself up to the King, hoping to placate the royal wrath by so surrendering himself.  Serano further relates that, meeting with Elena, he gave her this news, with the result that she, too, has promptly set off for the court.

The misfortunes of the Scots culminate as fleeing clansmen announce the death of Rodrigo, slain in his single combat with Uberto, and the victory of the royal forces in the following battle.

SCENE THREE.  In the King’s palace in Stirling.  Douglas, still in military dress but without sword or helmet, delivers himself up to the King – who is, as we have long realised, none other than Uberto, now to be recognised as Giacomo V.  Douglas has, it transpires, participated in a tournament held to celebrate the royal victory, and has overthrown all the King’s knights.  His motive, he claims, was to remind Giacomo of his past deeds of valour.  But Giacomo, at least outwardly, remains unimpressed and orders him thrown into prison to await sentence.  Douglas is led away.

Bertram, Giacomo’s squire, announces that a woman has come bearing the royal ring and craving admission.  Realising that it is Elena, Giacomo orders that she be brought in, but insists that she should not be told that he and the man she knows as Uberto are one and the same.  He temporarily retires.

Elena is seized with trembling to find herself in the palace where she was born: by now she feels far more at home in her humble dwelling on Loch Katrine.  From off-stage she hears Uberto lamenting his loss of her, and hopes that the fact that he has not forgotten her may prove a happy omen.  Upon his appearance she beseeches him to present her to the King so that she may plead for mercy for her father.

A great door opens at the back of the stage, revealing the throne room.  The lords and ladies of the court acclaim Giacomo, and Elena, realising that he is the centre of their attentions, at last recognises him as the King.  Douglas is brought in, and Giacomo restores him to all his titles and estates.  He pretends, however, to be less generously inclined towards Malcolm, whom he also holds in custody.  Claiming that he condemns him to a punishment worthy of his errors, he suddenly lays severity aside, raises him up and joins his hand to that of Elena.  Elena, overwhelmed by the change in her fortunes - and in the fate of those she loves – brings the opera to a suitable conclusion with expressions of gratitude and joy.

 

 

1480 words.


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