Zampa [Zampa, ou La fiancée de marbre (‘Zampa, or The Marble Fiancée’)
- Elizabeth Forbes
[Zampa, ou La fiancée de marbre (‘Zampa, or The Marble Fiancée’)
Opéra comique in three acts by Ferdinand Hérold to a libretto by Mélesville [Anne-Honoré-Joseph Duveyrier]; Paris, Opéra-Comique (Salle Ventadour), 3 May 1831.
In a castle in Sicily Alphonse de Monza (tenor) and his fiancée Camille (soprano) are about to be married. As they await her father, the rich merchant Lugano, Camille sings the ballad of Alice Manfredi, who was betrayed by her lover and now adorns the castle as a statue. A stranger arrives; it is Zampa (tenor), a proscribed pirate sought by the authorities, who is, in fact, the Count de Monza, Alphonse’s elder brother and the seducer of Alice. Zampa reveals his identity only to Camille; he has taken her father hostage and desires to marry her. Zampa and his pirates celebrate noisily; in jest he places a ring on the statue’s finger, but then cannot remove it.
In the second act Zampa expresses his passionate love for Camille in ‘Il faut céder à mes lois’. A letter arrives from the viceroy promising to pardon Zampa if he leads the fleet in battle. As Zampa and Camille enter the chapel, the pirate feels the marble hand of Alice on his shoulder. Camille, waiting in terror for Zampa to come to her, hears the voice of Alphonse from the garden singing a barcarolle. In vain she begs for pity from Zampa, then escapes as the pirate is confronted with the statue of Alice, which crushes him to death in its arms; they are engulfed as Etna erupts in flames. Alphonse, Camille and her father are reunited....