- William Ashbrook
Tragedia lirica in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti ; to a text by Giovanni Emanuele Bidera with revisions by Agostino Ruffini, after Casimir Delavigne’s tragedy; Paris, Théâtre Italien, 12 March 1835.
The Doge, Marino Faliero (bass), is furious when Steno (bass) accuses the Dogaressa Elena (soprano) of adultery. Captain Ismaele (baritone) joins Faliero in a conspiracy against the Council. Elena breaks off with the Doge’s nephew Fernando (tenor), giving him her scarf as a memento. She accuses Steno of hounding her, and Fernando challenges him; but Fernando is home in, dying, and his last request is to be buried with Elena’s scarf. Faliero comes to tell Elena of Fernando’s death, but the conspiracy has been betrayed and he is arrested; before the Council, Faliero tears off his Doge’s cap and tramples on it. At a final interview with Elena, he shows her the scarf and requests that it be used to shroud both his and Fernando’s faces. Shaken, Elena confesses her infidelity; but as death is near, the Doge, though enraged, forgives her. He is led away, Elena watches the execution from the window and at the sound of the executioner’s blow she screams and collapses....