ⓘ Jone (opera)


ⓘ Jone (opera)

Jone, ossia Lultimo giorno di Pompei is an opera in four acts by Errico Petrella. The Italian-language libretto was by Giovanni Peruzzini, after Edward Bulwer-Lyttons famous novel The Last Days of Pompeii.


1. Performance history

The opera was premiered at La Scala on 26 January 1858. It was an immediate success, not only all over Italy, but in the rest of the world as well. It remained in the repertory for close to 50 years, being last given in Caracas in 1981. This performance has been recorded and issued both on LP and CD.


2. Roles

Most of these singers were quite well known at the time, especially Carlo Negrini who was one of Italys leading tenors and had created Gabriele Adorno in Simon Boccanegra a year earlier. Guicciardi was the first De Luna in Il trovatore.


3. Synopsis

Both Glaucus, a noble Roman and Arbace, the high priest of Isis, love Jone. She is the latters ward, and regards him as a second father. A slave girl, Nidia, also loves Glaucus. Burbo, Arbaces henchman, gives Nidia some poison, asking her to give it to Glauco to drink. He assures her that it is an elixir of love. Glauco drinks only enough to become delirious.

This gives Arbace a chance to convince Jone that Glauco is worthless. He persuades her to come to the temple of Isis where he makes unwelcome advances. In the meantime, Glaucus has been restored to reason. He rushes in to save her, but is seized, accused of sacrilege and condemned to death. Arbace offers to save Glaucus life in return for Jones favors, which she refuses.

With the crowd assembled in the circus, Nidia reveals Arbaces infamy to the Praetor. Glaucus is freed. Vesuvius erupts and Arbace dies in the eruption. Jone and Glaucus find each other in the crowd, ask Nidia to flee with them. But she returns to the city to die, while the lovers escape.

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