Lucrezia is an opera in one act and three tableaux by Ottorino Respighi to a libretto by Claudio Guastalla, after Livy and William Shakespeare's The Rape of Lucrece, itself based heavily on Ovid's Fasti. Respighi died before finishing the work, which was therefore completed by his wife, Elsa Respighi, and by one of his pupils, Ennio Porrino. Lucrezia premiered on 24 February 1937 at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, in a production directed by Mario Frigerio with sets designed by Pietro Aschieri [it].[1] The première had a good reception.[2]

Opera by Ottorino Respighi
Respighi in 1934
LibrettistClaudio Guastalla
Based onThe Rape of Lucrece
by Shakespeare
24 February 1937 (1937-02-24)
La Scala, Milan

Lucrezia was much appreciated by the famous Italian musicologist Andrea Della Corte, who considered this opera as one of the best stage works of Respighi, thanks to the accomplished balance of expressivity and musical skill.[2] One of the distinctive features of Lucrezia is the presence of the Voice, a character that sings from within the orchestra and describes what is happening on the stage and the emotions of the other characters.

Roles edit

Roles, voice types, premiere cast
Role Voice type Premiere cast, 24 February 1937
Conductor: Gino Marinuzzi[1]
The Voice mezzo-soprano Ebe Stignani
Lucrezia soprano Maria Caniglia
Servia mezzo-soprano Maria Marcucci
Venilia soprano Renata Villani
Collatino tenor Pablo Civil
Bruto tenor Ettore Parmeggiani
Sesto Tarquinio baritone Gaetano Viviani [it]
Tito baritone Leone Paci
Arunte baritone Eraldo Coda
Spurio Lucrezio bass Bruno Carmassi
Valerio bass Aristide Baracchi [it]

Instrumentation edit

Lucrezia is scored for the following instruments:[3]

piccolo, 2 flutes , 2 oboes, English horn, 2 clarinets in B flat, 2 bassoons, 4 horns in F, 3 trumpets in B flat, 2 tenor trombones, bass trombone, tuba, cymbals, bass drum, tam-tam, strings.

Synopsis edit

Time: 509 BC.
Place: Rome

Sesto Tarquinio (son of Tarquin the Proud, the last king of Rome), Bruto and Collatino are in the tent of Tarquinio and discuss about the faithfulness of their wives; Bruto seems the most sceptical. Later they decide to return to Rome and verify directly the uprightness of their women.

Lucrezia, the wife of Collatino, tells her women a story that highlights the importance of living with honour and honesty. But during the night Tarquinio, who has become infatuated with Lucrezia, gets into the house of Collatino and rapes her.

The following day Lucrezia, overwhelmed with shame, asks Collatino to be revenged, then takes her own life. Bruto becomes one of the leaders of the rebellion against Tarquinio and his father, that leads to the overthrow of the monarchy.

Recordings edit

1958: Oliviero De Fabritiis, Orchestra sinfonica e Coro di Milano della RAI, LP Golden Age of Opera EJS 535[4]

The Voice: Miti Truccato Pace
Lucrezia: Anna di Cavalieri
Servia: Franca Marghinotti
Venilia: Adelide Montano
Collatino: Walter Brunelli
Bruto: Renato Gavarini

Tarquinio: Mario Sereni
Arunte: Valerio Meucci
Spurio Lucrezio: Fernando Corena
Valerio: Giovanni Ciavola

1981: Ettore Gracis, Junge Philarmonie der A.M.O.R, CD Bongiovanni, Cat. GB 2013-2[5]

The Voice: Jone Jon
Lucrezia: Elizabeth Byrne
Collatino: Andreas Iaggi
Bruto: Giuseppe Morino

Tarquinio: Daniel Washington
Arunte: Rado Hanak

1994: Adriano [de; it], Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra (Bratislava), CD Marco Polo, Cat. 223717[6]

The Voice: Stefania Kaluza
Lucrezia: Michela Remor
Servia: Denisa Slepkovská
Venilia: Adriana Kohutkova
Collatino: Ludovít Ludha
Bruto: Igor Pasek

Tarquinio: Richard Haan
Tito: Ján Durco
Arunte: Rado Hanák
Spurio Lucrezio: Rado Hanák
Valerio: Ján Durco

References edit

  1. ^ a b Casaglia, Gherardo (2005). "Lucrezia, 24 February 1937". L'Almanacco di Gherardo Casaglia (in Italian).
  2. ^ a b "La prima di Lucrezia, opera postuma di Respighi". La Stampa (in Italian). Torino. 25 February 1937. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  3. ^ "Ottorino Respighi – Catalogo delle composizioni – Lucrezia". l'Orchestra Virtuale del Flaminio] (in Italian). Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  4. ^ "Fernando Corena Discography: Lucrezia". Archived from the original on 9 November 2013. Retrieved 31 December 2014.
  5. ^ MusicWeb International
  6. ^ "Ottorino Respighi – Lucrezia – Adriano (1994)". Operaclass. Retrieved 30 December 2014.

Further reading edit

  • Bernardoni, Virgilio (1996). "Lucrezia". In Gelli, Piero (ed.). Dizionario dell'opera (in Italian). Milano: Baldini & Castoldi. ISBN 88-8089-177-4.

External links edit