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date: 22 November 2019

Ugo conte di Parigi (‘Hugo, Count of Paris’)locked

  • William Ashbrook

Extract

(‘Hugo, Count of Paris’)

Tragedia lirica in four parts by Gaetano Donizetti to a libretto by Felice Romani after Hippolyte-Louis-Florent Bis ’s Blanche d’Aquitaine; Milan, Teatro alla Scala, 13 March 1832.

The plot concerns Ugo [Hugues Capet] (tenor) and his loyalty to Louis V of France (contralto). The royal fiancée Bianca (Soprano) loves Hugues, whose engagement to Bianca’s sister Adelia (soprano) is announced by Louis. The plot is resolved when Bianca drinks the poison she had originally intended for Louis.

Ugo was important to Donizetti’s career as his first major engagement at La Scala (not counting the anaemic Chiara e Serafina of 1822). It put him once more in direct opposition to Bellini, who had opened that season Norma. Donizetti’s score, designed for the same historic cast, headed by Pasta and Giulia Grisi, ran into such problems with the censors that the opera had to be extensively revised, rendering the plot almost incomprehensible and causing Romani to repudiate his libretto. The première was delayed until the end of the season, and though the opera failed Donizetti’s music won a ...

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