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date: 20 November 2019


  • Gerard Béhague


Opera seria in four acts by Carlos Gomes to a libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni after Luigi Capranica’s novel La festa delle Mary; Milan, Teatro alla Scala, 16 February 1873.

The action takes place in the middle of the 10th century, in Venice and on the Istrian coast. A group of pirates led by Gajolo (tenor) are planning their next adventure: the kidnapping of the rich brides on the day of their wedding, the ‘Feast of the Marys’. Fosca (soprano), Gajolo’s sister, is passionately in love with Paolo (tenor), who has been captured by the pirates. She declares her love to Paolo who, however, responds that he is engaged to Delia (soprano). Senator Giotta (bass), Paolo’s father, arrives to pay the ransom and free his son. While Fosca laments Paolo’s departure, Cambro (baritone), Gajolo’s Venetian slave who is in love with her, proposes to bring Paolo back on condition that she marry him. In her anger she accepts. On the day of the wedding, in front of the church, the pirates prepare to execute their kidnapping plan. Seeing Paolo and Delia, Fosca attempts to block their way into the church. In the confusion Gajolo is taken prisoner by Venetian soldiers, Cambro kidnaps Delia, and Paolo is once more captured by the pirates. Cambro, who hopes to become the pirates’ new leader, continues his intrigues to win Fosca over. In Venice, in front of the senators and the doge, Gajolo offers to save Paolo and Delia in return for his freedom. Fosca urges Delia to take poison and save Paolo’s life by her death, but Gajolo arrives in time to free them, regaining his leadership and eliminating Cambro. Fosca then takes the poison and dies asking Paolo and Delia for forgiveness....

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