Elisa [Elisa, ou Le voyage aux glaciers du Mont St-Bernard (‘Elisa, or The Journey to the Glaciers of Mount St Bernard’)]
- Stephen C. Willis
[Elisa, ou Le voyage aux glaciers du Mont St-Bernard (‘Elisa, or The Journey to the Glaciers of Mount St Bernard’)]
Opéra comique in two acts by Luigi Cherubini to a libretto by Jacques-Antoine Reveroni de Saint-Cyr; Paris, Théâtre Feydeau, 13 December 1794.
This work typifies the ‘rescue opera’ genre which, though dating from the mid-18th century, became popular early in the French Revolution. Florindo (tenor) arrives at the monks’ hospice near Mount St Bernard in the Swiss Alps to await news of Elisa (soprano), his beloved who has been unable to marry him because her father opposed the union. When the expected letter arrives, it tells Florindo that Elisa has eloped with a friend. After trying to jump to his death he is taken back to the hospice, where Elisa soon arrives in search of him. Her father has died and she is ready to marry Florindo, but before he is informed of this, he is swept away by an avalanche. Fortunately, the monks revive him, and he is reunited with Elisa as the chorus sings a hymn of thanksgiving....