Giacomo Puccini – Edgar
(b. Lucca 22 December 1858: d. Brussels 29 November 1924)
Opera in three acts
Libretto by Ferdinando Fontana,
based on Alfred de Musset’s poème dramatique, La coupe et les lèvres
Edgar (tenor); Gualtiero (bass); Frank, his son (baritone); Fidelia, his daughter (soprano); Tigrana, abandoned by gypsies and raised by Gualtiero (mezzo-soprano or soprano).
Villagers, Soldiers, Monks, Courtiers, Children.
Orchestration (1905 version):
4(1.2.3/Picc.4/Picc), 3(1.2/EngHn.3/EngHn), 3(1.2/Cl.3/Cl), 2 — 4, 3, 4(1.2.3.BTrbn), 0 — Timp, 5Perc, Carillon, Org, 2Harp — strings. Off-stage: 8Trumpets, Drum, Bell.
Premiere: 21 April 1889 (four-act version); Teatro alla Scala, Milan.
Cast: Aurelia Cataneo-Caruson (Fidelia); Romilda Pantaleoni (Tigrana); Gregorio Gabrielesco (Edgar); Antonio Magini-Coletti (Frank); Pio Marini (Gualtiero). Conductor: Franco Faccio.
5 September 1891. Teatro del Giglio, Lucca.
28 January 1892. Teatro Comunale, Ferrara.
Revised three-act version:
19 March 1892. Teatro Real, Madrid.
Definitive performing version:
8 July 1905. Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires.
Cast: Rina Giachetti (Fidelia); Giannina Russ (Tigra
a); Giovanni Zenatello (Edgar); Enrico Nani (Frank); Remo Ercolani (Gualtiero).
Conductor: Leopoldo Mugnone.
Act One. The village square at dawn. Fidelia brings Edgar a sprig of almond blossom as a love token (O fior del giorno), but leaves as the wild Tigrana approaches. She taunts Edgar with their past affair, trying to lure him back into her arms, but he denounces her as a demon and enters his house. Frank has feelings for Tigrana (Questo amor, vergogna mia), but she cruelly rejects him and then turns her scorn on the villagers arriving for church. The crowd threatens Tigrana, but Edgar comes to her rescue. He torches his own house, and despite the protestations of Fidelia and Gualtiero, draws his sword and injures Frank in a duel. Tigrana and Edgar then escape, with the curses of Frank and the villagers ringing in their ears. …
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