Anna Bolena


Anna Bolena

"Anna Bolena" is a "tragedia lirica", or opera, in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti. Felice Romani wrote the Italian libretto after Ippolito Pindemonte's "Enrico VIII ossia Anna Bolena" and Alessandro Pepoli's "Anna Bolena", both tellings of the life of Anne Boleyn. It premiered on December 26, 1830 at the Teatro Carcano, Milan.

The duet "Sul suo capo aggravi un Dio" between Anna (soprano) and Jane Seymour (mezzo soprano) is considered one of the finest in the entire operatic repertoire.

Performance History

"Anna Bolena" was performed infrequently during the latter half of 19th century and early 20th century, but it was revived with more frequency in the post-war years. On December 30, 1947, the opera was performed at Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, celebrating the centennial of this theatre, which opened in 1847 with "Anna Bolena". The cast was Sara Scuderi as Anna Bolena, Giulietta Simionato as Jane Seymour and Cesare Siepi as Henry VIII.

In April 1957, the opera was revived at La Scala for Maria Callas in a lavish production directed by Luchino Visconti, and it proved to be one of her greatest triumphs. Similarly it was one of the last new roles performed by Dame Joan Sutherland. Other famous interpreters of the role were Leyla Gencer, Beverly Sills, Montserrat Caballé, Renata Scotto and Edita Gruberova.

"Anna Bolena" is regularly performed now and there are several recordings of it.

Roles

Synopsis

Selected recordings

* 1957 - Maria Callas (Anna), Giulietta Simionato (Giovanna), Gianni Raimondi (Percy), Nicola Rossi-Lemeni (Enrico), Gabriella Carturan (Smeaton) - Chorus and Orchestra of La Scala, Gianandrea Gavazzeni - (EMI)

* 1973 - Beverly Sills (Anna), Shirley Verrett (Giovanna), Stuart Burrows (Percy), Paul Plishka (Enrico), Patricia Kern (Smeaton) - John Alldis Choir, London Symphony Orchestra, Julius Rudel - (DG)

External links

* [http://www.karadar.com/Librettos/donizetti_bolena.html Libretto] (Italian)
* [http://www.johnrpierce.com/abpsone.html Plot summary]


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