ⓘ Marino Faliero (opera)


ⓘ Marino Faliero (opera)

Marino Faliero is a tragedia lirica, or tragic opera, in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti. Giovanni Emanuele Bidera wrote the Italian libretto, with revisions by Agostino Ruffini, after Casimir Delavignes play. It is inspired by Lord Byrons drama Marino Faliero and based on the life of Marino Faliero, the Venetian Doge.

Rossini had influenced the management of the Theatre-Italien to commission works by the outstanding Italian composers of the day - Donizetti and Vincenzo Bellini. Both wrote operas for that house in Paris, Bellinis contribution being the hugely-successful I puritani. Donizettis opera, which premiered on 12 March 1835 a few months after I puritani was not nearly as much of a success. However, it marked Donizettis first opera to have its premiere in Paris.


1. Performance history

After the Paris premiere, Marino Faliero was presented in London at Covent Garden on 14 May 1835 and at the Teatro Alfieri in Florence in 1836. Its first appearance in the US took place at the St. Charles Theater in New Orleans on 22 February 1842. However, after several prohibitions from September 1839 onward, the opera was not presented until 3 September 1848, the day to which Black notes was the one on which the composer died in Bergamo. The opera had a number of productions in the 19th century, but by the 20th it had become a rarity. The Donizetti Festival in Bergamo staged the work in 2008.


2. Synopsis

Place: Venice Time: 1355

Act 2

The duel having taken place, Fernando is found dying near the Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo, where the conspirators were to meet. Faliero vows to avenge his death.


2.1. Synopsis Act 1

Elena, the wife of Marin Faliero, Doge of Venice, is continually subjected to attacks on her reputation by the patrician Steno whose advances she has rejected. Steno then insults Israele Bertucci, the chief of the Venetian Arsenal in front of his workers. Steno is punished for these offenses, but Faliero is infuriated by the leniency of the punishment. At the Doges Palace, Israele convinces Faliero to join a conspiracy against the Council of Forty, of which Steno is a member. Elena and her lover Fernando, Falieros nephew, decide to part. He will leave the city to save her from dishonour. She gives him a veil to remember her by. The climax of the act takes place at a masked ball in the palace when Fernando challenges Steno to a duel for having insulted Elena once again.


2.2. Synopsis Act 3

The conspiracy collapses following a betrayal by one of its members and the Doge is condemned to death at a trial in the Doges Palace. Before his execution, Elena confesses her love affair with Fernando to him. Faliero begins to curse her, but sensing that his death is imminent, pardons her instead. Faliero is led off. Alone on the stage, Elena hears the sound of the executioners axe, screams and faints.