- Roger Parker
Tragedia lirica in a prologue and two acts by Giuseppe Verdi to a libretto by Salvadore Cammarano after Voltaire’s play Alzire, ou Les Américains; Naples, Teatro S Carlo, 12 August 1845.
There were two reasons why Alzira, Verdi’s eighth opera was something of a special event. It was the first he had written specially for the famous Teatro S Carlo of Naples, and so offered him an opportunity to confront a significant public and theatre with whom he had so far had little success. And it presented a chance to collaborate with Salvadore Cammarano, resident poet at the S Carlo, certainly the most famous librettist still working in Italy, renowned for his string of successes in the previous decade with Gaetano Donizetti. Because of Cammarano’s fame, Verdi seems to have taken little active part in the formation of the libretto (this in contrast to the works he prepared with his principal librettist of the period, Piave), being for the most part happy to accept the dictates of Cammarano’s highly professional instincts. Work on ...