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L'Ange de Nisida in concert

18–21 July 2018
Main Stage

Opera Rara gives the world premiere of Donizetti’s opera – some of which is familiar from La Favorite – in a concert performance starring Joyce El-Khoury and conducted by Mark Elder.

When to see it

The Story

The soldier Leone has fallen in love with the mysterious Sylvia, and travels illicitly to the island Nisida to see her. She loves him in return but begs him to forget her – she is the king’s mistress. Meanwhile, the king faces political pressure to abandon Sylvia.

Read more… (Contains spoilers)

Background

Donizetti completed the score for L’Ange de Nisida in 1839, for the Théâtre de la Renaissance in Paris. But the theatre went bankrupt and the opera was never performed. Donizetti was able to recycle some of his music in later works – most notably in La Favorite – but much of the score has never been heard. Mark Elder’s Opera Rara presents a concert performance of a new performing edition by Italian musicologist Candida Mantica, in the world premiere of this unknown Donizetti opera.

Donizetti had enjoyed a period of extraordinary productivity throughout the 1830s, his last decade in Italy. He wrote 25 operas over 1830–8, including such works as L’elisir d’amore, Lucia di Lammermoor and Maria Stuarda. In 1838 he left Naples for a new life in Paris, and from 1840 would equal and surpass his Neapolitan successes – albeit with some casualties, including L’Ange de Nisida and Le Duc d’Albe. This world premiere sheds new light on this international phase of Donizetti’s later career.