Notes to the Libretto

Sources: The primary source is a printed libretto published by Tipografia Valentini, Milan, in conjunction with the performances of Alzira at La Scala beginning 16 Jan. 1847. This was not the first production, the opera having been previously given at the San Carlo in Naples (first performance 12 Aug. 1845) and in Rome, Parma, and Lugo. The libretto printed for the Neapolitan premiere is said to differ in several points from the score, and these differences are thought to reflect interventions by the censors. The Milan libretto may be more typical of those used for the few performances that Alzira enjoyed. In any case, substantial differences between the published libretto used and the text in the score are noted here, as usual. The vocal score used is that of the Nuovissime Edizioni Ricordi, plate #53706 (Milano, n.d.)

Personaggi The vocal parts are taken from the vocal score. The published libretto instead lists the performers for the particular production for which it was intended. They are:
Alvaro Lodetti Fr.
Gusmano De Bassini Achille
Ovando Soldi Giulio
Zamoro Reeves Giovanni
Ataliba Berini Agostino
Alzira TADOLINI EUG., Cantante di Camera di S.M.I. e R.A.
Zuma Calcagno Paolina
Otumbo Marconi Napoleone
Eugenia Tadolini was the creator of the title role; she was the only member of the prima cast to appear in the Scala production.
Personaggi In the score Zuma is identified as sorella di Alzira.
P.2:52-55 Except for the words Tutti morran, these four lines are sung only by Zamoro.
1.2:8 formata firmata
1.2:22 Forza ch'io tema estinto Temere m' forza estinto
1.2:42 Un mondo Il mondo
1.3:11 Balza il tuo cor Batte il tuo cor
1.3.15 Egli m'apparve! : There is a question mark in the libretto, probably a typographical error
S... udite. M'udite
1.3.37 il ciel fe' guerra il ciel fa guerra
1.3.41-43 Vive, e m'attende... ah! s...
Morte non spegne un foco
Che vero amor nudr.
Ei vive, ei m'ama ognor.
1.4:4-13 In the printed libretto the ten and a half lines from De' sanguinosi eventi through Un' ultima speranza; are marked with virgole () indicating their omission in performance; but they are set in the score.
1.6:23-24 Quanto sinor perdei
Reso mi viene in te!
Finor quanto perdei
Tutto m' reso in te!
1.7:17 Oh ciel! : This is sung by Zuma and the chorus
1.8:5 Fia ver! : sung by Gusmano and the chorus
1.8:44 Evitarla or non pot Ma fuggirla or non pot
1.9:9 Gusmano! : sung by Alzira and Ataliba
1.9:15 Cielo! : sung by Zamoro, Alvaro, Ataliba, and chorus
2.4:24 al pi : in the libretto al pi, evidently a typographical error
2.5:8 desso! : In the score this line is sung by (and the stage instruction applied to) the chorus, not Otumbo
2.6:6-7 These two lines (together with the vieni of line 5) are sung by the chorus as well as Otumbo
2.6:30 There is an additional stage instruction in the score: (col pianto d'un cuore straziato)
2.7 This scene is mistakenly labeled VIII. in the published libretto
2.8:3 Ecco la sposa di Gusman: del nodo Ecco la sposa di Gusmano; al Tempio
Ella meco verr: ma pria, del nodo,
2.9:29 [egli non pu... l'estremo anelito] : In the score this stage instruction is replaced by the simple instruction for Gusmano: [muore]

Notes © Richard S. Bogart 2009

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26 Dec 2009