Donizetti

The More I learn, the Less I Know

Donizetti is the first composer whose work I have tried to tackle. My goal was and is to provide serviceable English versions of all of the 60-odd operas he composed during his 25 year productive career. Of course, as with all 18th- and 19th-century Italian opera, the archaic poetic language that characterizes the serious works takes some getting used to. For another, many of the earlier libretti written for Naples include a buffo bass character who sings in Neapolitan dialect. With that I do the best I can, but I’m sure there are things I will have misconstrued. I welcome corrections and suggestions. As elsewhere, I have tried to steer a course between strict literal interpretation and readability, erring on the side of the literal as I find it more useful for opera lovers who want to understand the Italian rather than just the gist. Consequently there is much that is stilted and awkward. That’s just the way it is.



Otto mesi in due ore, ossi Gli esiliati in Siberia (1827, rev. 1833, 1841)

Romantic Melodrama in 3 Parts
Libretto by Domenico Gilardoni

Il borgomastro di Saardam (1827)

Comic Opera in Two Acts
Libretto by Domenico Gilardoni

L’esule di Roma, ossia Il proscritto (1828) or Settimio il proscritto

Heroic Melodrama in Two Acts
Libretto by Domenico Gilardoni

Gianni da Calais (1828)

Opera Semi-Seria in Three Acts
Libretto by Domenico Gilardoni

Alina, regina di Golconda (1828)

Melodrama in Two Acts
Libretto by Felice Romani

Il paria (1828)

Melodrama in Two Acts
Libretto by Domenico Gilardoni

Il giovedì grasso, o il nuovo Pourceaugnac (1829)

A Farce in One Act
Libretto by Domenico Gilardoni

Elisabetta al castello di Kenilworth (1829)

Serious Melodrama in Three Acts
Libretto by Andrea Leone Tottola

Imelda de’Lambertazzi (1830)

Tragic Melodrama in Two Acts
Libretto by Andrea Leone Tottola

Il diluvio universale (1830)

Tragico-Sacred Stage Piece in Three Acts
Libretto by Domenico Gilardoni