Zoraide di Grenata (‘Zoraide of Grenada’)
- William Ashbrook
(‘Zoraide of Grenada’)
Melodramma eroico in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti to a libretto by Bartolomeo Merelli after J.-P.-C. de Florian’s Gonsalve de Cordove, ou Grenade reconquise; Rome, Teatro Argentina, 28 January 1822 (revised version, Rome, Teatro Argentina, 7 January 1824).
The plot deals with the machinations of Almuzir (tenor) to marry Zoraide (soprano), the daughter of the king he has murdered and whose throne he has usurped. His attempts to dispose of his rival Abenamet (contralto en travesti), whom Zoraide truly loves, are ultimately foiled when Abenamet, as an unknown knight, wins a single combat to defend her, whereupon he forces Almuzir to confess his perfidy and then defends the usurper against the wrath of the populace. The grateful Almuzir permits Abenamet to marry Zoraide.
Abenamet was to have been a tenor role, but the singer assigned the part died during rehearsals and Donizetti was forced to recast the part as a ...