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Armida

Dramma per musica in three acts by
GIOVANNI SCHMIDT

First performance:
Naples - Teatro San Carlo
9 November 1817

Critical Edition by
CHARLES S. BRAUNER
and
PATRICIA B. BRAUNER
 
 

FONDAZIONE ROSSINI PESARO 1997

CHARACTERS:
GOFFREDO, tenor
RINALDO, tenor
IDRAOTE, bass
ARMIDA, soprano
GERNANDO, tenor
EUSTAZIO, tenor
UBALDO, tenor
CARLO, tenor
ASTAROTTE, bass
Mixed Chorus of Paladins, Warriors, Demons, Spirits, French Soldiers, Damascene followers of Armida

The action takes place in the crusader camp outside the walls of Jerusalem and in Armida's enchanted realm

Instrumentation: 2 Flutes/Piccolo, 2 Oboes/English Horn, 2 Clarinets, 2 Bassoons, 4 Horns, 2 Trumpets, 3 Trombones, Serpent, Timpani, Bass Drum, Triangle, Sistri, Banda turca, Tam-tam, Harp, Strings
Performance time: 3h

Rossini's third opera seria for Naples, Armida is based on Tasso's epic poem Gerusalemme liberata. It is among his most unusual and beautiful stage works, indulging a Romantic interest for the exotic and supernatural, while at the same time deeply probing human passion. The rôle of Armida requires a singer of both spectacular virtuosity and great dramatic power. Some of Rossini's most sensual music occurs in her duets with Rinaldo, two of which feature prominent introductions for solo violin and solo violoncello. A highlight of Act III is the stirring trio for three tenors (the six tenor roles can be taken by four tenors, as they were at Naples). Armida also requires two basses and gives conspicuous parts to men's and women's choruses. Unique among Rossini's Italian operas are the ballet, which occupies much of Act II, and the magical scenic effects called for in the staging.

The critical edition presents Armida in its original form, reintegrating passages missing from the autograph score and restoring cuts made in printed editions.

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