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date: 15 November 2019

Roberto Devereux [Roberto Devereux, ossia Il conte di Essex (‘Robert Devereux, or the Earl of Essex’)locked

  • William Ashbrook

Extract

[Roberto Devereux, ossia Il conte di Essex (‘Robert Devereux, or the Earl of Essex’)

Tragedia lirica in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti to a libretto by Salvadore Cammarano after François Ancelot’s tragedy Elisabeth d’Angleterre; Naples, Teatro S Carlo, 28 October 1837.

Donizetti revised the score for its introduction to Paris in December 1838, adding a full-scale overture whose first theme is the melody of God Save the Queen. The contrasting second theme is the melody of Roberto’s cabaletta in the Tower Scene, ‘Bagnato il sen di lagrime’, itself another new addition to the score, replacing a different aria at this point. Donizetti also modified the cabaletta of the duet for Elisabetta [Elizabeth] and Roberto [Robert] by giving the tenor a contrasting melody instead of echoing Elizabeth’s as he had formerly. Nor were these the last changes Donizetti made to this score. He wrote an alternative G minor romanza for Sara [Sarah] in the introduzione for Albertazzi, retaining the original text, and for the baritone Barroilhet (the original Nottingham in Naples) he enlarged his role in the French-language version with an expressive cavatina, ‘Par toi, Sara’....

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