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Ricciardo e Zoraide

Ricciardo e Zoraide (Ricciardo and Zoraide) is an opera in two acts by Gioachino Rossini to an Italian libretto by Francesco Berio di Salsa. The text is based on cantos XIV and XV of Il Ricciardetto, an epic poem by Niccolò Forteguerri.[1]

Performance historyEdit

Ricciardo e Zoraide was first performed at the Teatro San Carlo, Naples, on 3 December 1818. It continued to be performed until 1846 but fell out of favor afterwards and was not performed in public again until its revival at the Pesaro Rossini Opera Festival in 1990 [2]. The Rossini Opera Festival featured a new production of the opera in 2018 [3],[4]. Among other performances, the opera received a production at the Rossini in Wildbad festival in 2013 [5].


Role Voice type Premiere Cast, 3 December 1818
(Conductor: Nicola Festa )
Agorante, King of Nubia, infatuated with Zoraide tenor Andrea Nozzari
Zomira, wife of Agorante contralto Benedetta Rosmunda Pisaroni
Zamorre, confidant of Agorante tenor Gaetano Chizzola
Elmira, confidant of Zomira mezzo-soprano Raffaella de Bernardis
Ircano, a Nubian prince bass Michele Benedetti
Zoraide, daughter of Ircano, in love with Ricciardo soprano Isabella Colbran
Ricciardo, a Christian paladin knight, in love with Zoraide tenor Giovanni David
Fatima, confidant of Zoraide mezzo-soprano Maria Manzi
Ernesto, friend of Ricciardo, Christian camp ambassador, tenor Giuseppe Ciccimarra


Place: the city of Dongola in ancient Nubia.
Time: The time of the Crusades

The Nubian King Agorante, who is infatuated with Zoraide, has defeated her father, Ircano and captured her. Ricciardo, a Christian knight and Zoraide's lover, accompanies an emissary to plead for her release. Agorante's jealous wife, Zomira, arranges the capture of Ricciardo as well and plots to have the young lovers executed to protect her position as Queen. The opera ends with an army of Christian knights rescuing Ricciardo and Zoraide. Ricciardo spares Agorante's life.


Year Cast:
Agorante, Zoraide, Ricciardo, Zomira, Ircano
Opera House and Orchestra
1990 Bruce Ford,
June Anderson,
William Matteuzzi,
Gloria Scalchi,
Giovanni Furlanetto
Riccardo Chailly, Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Prague Philharmonic Chorus VHS Video: Bel Canto Society
Cat: #619
1995 Bruce Ford,
Nelly Miricioiu,
William Matteuzzi,
Della Jones,
Alastair Miles
David Parry,
Orchestra of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and the Geoffrey Mitchell Choir
Audio CD: Opera Rara
Cat: ORC 14
2018 Randall Bills (tenor),
Alessandra Marianelli,
Maxim Mironov,
Silvia Beltrami (mezzo soprano),
Nahuel di Pierro
José Miguel Pérez-Sierra (conductor),
Virtuosi Brunensis and the Camerata Bach Choir of Poznan
Audio CD: Naxos Records
Cat:8 660419-21|



  1. ^ Richard Osborne, "Ricciardo e Zoraide," Grove Music Online (article revised 2002), accessed 13 May 2019.
  2. ^ "ROSSINI Ricciardo e Zoraide (Pérez-Sierra)". Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  3. ^ "Rossini Opera Festival Program 2018". Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  4. ^ "New Production of Ricciardo e Zoraide for Rossini Opera Festival". Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  5. ^ "Ricciardo e Zoraide - Bad Wildbad". Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  6. ^ Recordings of Ricciardo e Zoraide on


External linksEdit