Gianni di Calais

Gianni di Calais is a melodramma semiserio, a "semi-serious" opera in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti (1828), from a libretto by Domenico Gilardoni, based on Jean de Paris by Louis-Charles Caigniez.

Gianni di Calais
Opera by Gaetano Donizetti
Donizetti Booklet.jpg
Donizetti as a young man
LibrettistDomenico Gilardoni
Based onJean de Paris
by Louis-Charles Caigniez
2 August 1828 (1828-08-02)

It was first performed on 2 August 1828 at the Teatro del Fondo, Naples.


Role Voice type Premiere Cast, 2 August 1828
(Conductor: - )
Metilde, Gianni's wife soprano Adelaide Comelli Rubini
Gianni da Calais, shipowner tenor Giovanni Battista Rubini
Rustano, head of Gianni's sailors baritone Antonio Tamburini
The king, Metilde's father bass Michele Benedetti
Arrigo, page of the duchess contralto Edvige Ricci
Rogiero tenor Filippo Tati
Guido bass Giovanni Pace
Corrado, Rogiero's friend tenor Gaetano Chizzola
An official tenor Capranica
Adelina, duchess and friend of Metilde soprano
Ermanno, young son of Gianni silent
Sailors, bridesmaids, people


Time: "The past"[1]
Place: Portugal

The Duchess Adelina meets a masked woman with a child on the beach at night. The stranger turns out to be her friend, Princess Matilde, the king's daughter, fleeing to avoid having to marry the courtier Rogiero. During her flight she had fallen into the hands of pirates, but had been rescued by the ship-owner Gianni di Calais, who later became her husband. No one knows that the woman is the king's daughter except Gianni's faithful friend, Rustano. Gianni arrives with the sails of his ship showing images of his wife and son. He has been called to court by the king in order to search for his daughter. It is at this point that Gianni realizes the identity of his wife, and she appears at that moment. When the furious Rogiero sees her, he plans his revenge by kidnapping Gianni's and Matilde's son, but the boy is immediately rescued by Rustano. The king punishes Rogiero, and Gianni is accepted as Matlide's husband.



  1. ^ Osborne 1994, p. 180

Cited sources

  • Osborne, Charles, (1994), The Bel Canto Operas of Rossini, Donizetti, and Bellini, Portland, Oregon: Amadeus Press. ISBN 0-931340-71-3

Other sources

External linksEdit