Donizetti, Gaetano


Donizetti, Gaetano

Anna Bolena, opera in 2 acts (Vocal score with Italien libretto)

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Donizetti, Gaetano – Anna Bolena, opera in 2 acts (Vocal score with Italien libretto)


For more information about the piece read the preface to the full score:

Composed: November-December 1830
Librettist: Felice Romani (1788-1865)
Premiere: Teatro Carcano, Milan, 26 December 1830
Publications: Milan: G. Ricordi ,1831 & reissued in 1910. Full score, plate 129610.
Piano reduction by Luigi Truzzi, plates 1531-1542. Offstage Banda score (Act II finale), plate 129612, for 2 flutes, 2 clarinets, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba. French piano-vocal score
translated by Castil-Blaze, Paris: Aulangnier, 1838.

Anna Bolena was commissioned by a group of aristocrats who were fed up with the way La Scala was being run. The work was planned to open the Carnival season on December 26, 1830 (a great honor), featuring two leading singers: tenor Giovanni Batista Rubini and soprano Guiditta Pasta, as whose houseguest Donizetti composed the score. The librettist missed his September deadline, finishing the complete text on November 10. A contemporary of Rossini (who retired early) and Bellini (who died tragically young), he wrote quickly, remarking, “Rossini wrote The Barber of Seville in thirteen days? Ah! He always was a lazy fellow!”

The opera went on to be performed in more than two dozen European houses, London (1831), New Orleans (in French, 1839), and New York City (in Italian, 1850). Influential recordings include Maria Callas (La Scala, 1957), Beverly Sills (London Symphony Orchestra, 1972), and Joan Sutherland (Welsh National Opera, 1987). After the successful premieres of Anna Bolena and the comedy L’elisir d’amore, Donizetti’s teacher Johann Simon Mayr began to address his former pupil as “Maestro.” Bel canto singing was evolving during the 1830s, and singers were transforming from experts in the light, flexible style required by Mozart, Bellini, and Rossini to heavier, more heroic voices. Donizetti’s mature music is gorgeous and variegated, seamlessly changing tone from light to dark, and departing from earlier models. …

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Score Data

Score Number



Opera Explorer




210 x 297 mm




Vocal Score with Italien libretto

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