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Guido et Ginevra [ Guido et Ginevra, ou La peste de Florence (‘Guido and Ginevra, or The Plague of Florence’)]locked

  • Hugh Macdonald

Extract

Opéra in five acts by (Jacques-François-)Fromental (-Elie) Halévy to a libretto by Eugène Scribe ; Paris, Opéra, 5 March 1838 (revised in four acts, Paris, Opéra, 23 October 1840).

The libretto is based on an episode in the history of Florence as told by Louis-Charles Delécluze. Ginevra (soprano), daughter of Cosimo dei Medici (bass), collapses during her marriage to the Duke of Ferrara (bass). She has been poisoned by a magic veil but is assumed to be a victim of the plague then ravaging Florence, so she is buried in the Medici vault. Later she awakes, but everywhere she goes in the plague-ridden city she is shunned, until a young sculptor, Guido (tenor), gives her shelter. Eventually Cosimo is persuaded to approve his daughter’s marriage to Guido....

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