Montemezzi, Italo


Montemezzi, Italo

L’amore dei tre re (full opera score with Italian libretto)

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Italo Montemezzi – L’amore dei tre re

(b. Vigasio, 4 August 1875 – d. Vigasio, 15 May 1952)

L’amore dei tre re

The most successful opera by the Italian composer of the late Romantic period Italo Montemezzi is “L’Amore dei tre re”, or “The Love of the Three Kings”, which caused a storm of enthusiasm at its premiere at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan. Despite this worldwide success, the composer Italo Montemezzi is largely forgotten today.
The Italian musician and composer Italo Montemezzi was born on 4 August 1875 in Vigasio near Verona and studied composition with Vincenzo Ferroni until 1900, graduating with distinction. As his final piece, he set a text from the Song of Songs to music as a cantata for soprano, mezzo-soprano, choir and orchestra, which was premiered by Arturo Toscanini. He later taught harmony at the Milan Conservatory and mainly composed operas, most of which were premiered at La Scala in Milan. Montemezzi lived in the USA between 1939 and 1949.1 In addition to operas, he also created symphonic works such as the poem “Paolo e Virginia”, which he composed in 1929. Montemezzi died on 15 May 1952 in Vigasio. His opera compositions include “Giovanni Gallurese”, “L’Hellera”, “L’Incantesimo” and “L’Amore dei tre re”2.
The three-act, two-hour opera “L’amore dei tre re” – Montemezzi described it as a “poema tragico” – is based on a libretto by Sem Benelli after his drama “La cena delle beffe”, which was later also set to music by Umberto Giordano. Montemezzi did not give Benelli any instructions for the libretto, so that only the number of characters in the play had to be reduced and Montemezzi was able to set it to music almost word for word. The composition was written between 1910 and 1913.
On 10 April 1913, the opera “L’Amore dei tre re” was premiered at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan under the musical direction of Tullio Serafin. The singers were Nazzareno De Angelis (1881-1962) as Archibaldo, Carlo Galeffi (1884-1961) as Manfredo, Luisa Villani (1884-1961) as Fiora, Edoardo Ferrari-Fontana (1878-1936) as Avito, Giordano Paltrinieri (1890-1970) as Flaminio, Fernanda Guelpi as Un’ancella (maid), Enrica Merli as Una giovanetta (young girl), Cesare Spadoni as Un giovanetto (young man) and Rosa Garavaglia as Una vicchia (old woman). The performance was a resounding success – even if the reviews were mixed – and travelled as far as New York to the Metropolitan Opera, where the work was first performed under Arturo Toscanini and then played for thirty years. The American premiere took place on 14 March 1918 (1914 according to other sources) at the Metropolitan Opera in New York with such great singers as Enrico Caruso (1873-1921), Claudia Muzio (1889-1936) and Pasquale Amato (1878-1942). It was only after the Second World War that the number of performances fell sharply. Today, performances of “L’Amore dei tre re” are rather rare.
The cast list consists of Archibaldo (bass), Manfredo (baritone), Fiora (soprano), Avito (tenor), Un’ancella / maid (soprano), Una giovanetta / young girl (soprano), Un giovanetto / young man (tenor), Una vecchia / old woman (mezzo-soprano), Una voce fluori scena / voice outside the scene (voce bianca). The singing is in Italian. …


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Score Data

Score Number



Opera Explorer






210 x 297 mm



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