Tancredi

Tancredi is a melodramma eroico (opera seria or 'heroic' opera) in two acts by composer Gioachino Rossini and librettist Gaetano Rossi (who was also to write Semiramide ten years later), based on Voltaire's play Tancrède (1759). The opera made its first appearance in Venice at the Teatro La Fenice on 6 February 1813, after Il signor Bruschino premiered in late January, giving the composer less than a month to have completed Tancredi. The overture, borrowed from La pietra del paragone, is a popular example of Rossini's characteristic style, and is a regular part of the concert and recording repertoire.

This opera was considered by Stendhal, Rossini's earliest biographer, to be "high amongst the composer's masterworks". and he described it as "a genuine thunderbolt out of a clear, blue sky for the Italian lyric theatre"

The title role of Tancredi, a breeches role, is so vocally demanding that casting the part has traditionally proved to be challenging. It requires a true contralto or a mezzo-soprano with a strong lower register who possesses great vocal agility and endurance. The title role encompasses two lengthy arias ("O patria! ... Di tanti palpiti", "Dove son io? – Fra quali orror"), and three duets ("L'aura che intorno spiri" with Armenaide, "M'abbraccia, Argirio ... Ecco la tromba!" with Argirio, "Ah, come mai quell' anima" with Amenaide).

Though Rossini first composed his opera for Venice with a happy ending in mind (as required by the opera seria tradition), he soon had the poet Luigi Lechi rework the libretto to emulate the original tragic ending by Voltaire and in this new ending, presented at the Teatro Comunale in Ferrara in March 1813, Tancredi wins the battle but is mortally wounded. Only then does he learn that Amenaide never betrayed him, and Agirio marries the lovers in time for Tancredi to die in his wife's arms. As Holden notes, it was the rediscovery of this ending in 1974 that produces the version in which the opera is usually performed today.

Later, in the Venice ending of 1816, the dying Solamir professes Amenaide's innocence, and Tancredi returns home in triumph.

Read more about Tancredi:  Roles, Synopsis, Recordings

Other articles related to "tancredi":

Tancredi - Recordings
... Year Cast (Tancredi, Amenaide, Argirio, Orbazzano) Conductor, opera house and orchestra Label 1978 Fiorenza Cossotto, Lella Cuberli, Werner Hollweg, Nicola Ghiuselev Gabriele Ferro, Capella ...
Tancredi
... Tancredi is a melodramma eroico (opera seria or 'heroic' opera) in two acts by composer Gioachino Rossini and librettist Gaetano Rossi (who was also to write Semiramide ten years later), based on Voltaire's play ... Bruschino premiered in late January, giving the composer less than a month to have completed Tancredi ... The title role of Tancredi, a breeches role, is so vocally demanding that casting the part has traditionally proved to be challenging ...