The libretto with translation of I due Foscari is finally available on my website. Depressing stuff:(Evi. Sign in to reply. 11/25/03 OmbraRecds. – show quoted text -. I due Foscari, Verdi’s sixth opera, is one of his darkest and saddest. At its heart is a father’s Libretto. Francesco Maria Piave. Director. Thaddeus Strassberger. Opera by Giuseppe Verdi on a libretto of Francesco Maria Piave, based on the play The two Foscari by Lord Byron. First performed at the.
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“I DUE FOSCARI” OR RATHER ONE AND A HALF – Operagazet
After his success with ErnaniVerdi received a commission from Rome’s Teatro Argentina and he went to work with Piave in considering two subjects, one of which eventually became this opera. I due Foscari was given its premiere performance in Rome on 3 November and was generally quite successful, although not on the scale of Ernaniwhich remained Verdi’s most popular opera until Il trovatore in After ErnaniVerdi had considered a large number of projects for the future and the Byron play was one of them.
Foscari had even been considered as early as when he had been approached by La Fenice in Venice, but it was rejected as unsuitable because the story included criticism of actions of the Republic of Venice which may have been offensive to the great families who had governed the Republic, including the extant Foscari family.
At the same time, the composer had accepted a commission from the Teatro Argentina in Rome and had considered the subject of Lorenzino de’ Medici on which Piave had already begun work. Verdi encouraged the librettist to continue his work and then submit the work to the Roman authorities but, as a backup, he wrote: I like the plot and the outline is already there in Venice.
As it turned out, the de Medici libretto was rejected by the Teatro Argentina and I due Foscari was substituted. This gave Verdi the opportunity to re-read Byron’s play and, in doing so, he came to the realization which he expressed in a letter to Piave that the librettist had better NOT ‘stick close to Byron’: However, as musicologist Roger Parker notes, it appears that Verdi was “concentrating on personal confrontations rather than grand scenic effects”.
Upon receiving the libretto by mid-May, the composer sent a long series of letters to the librettist over several months instructing him on many points where changes were needed. They revealed “the extent to which Verdi intervened in the making of the libretto, a good deal of the large-scale structure of the opera being dictated by his increasingly exigent theatrical instincts.
Opera Today : I Due Foscari, LA Opera
Reaction to the premiere was tempered by several elements outside of Verdi’s control, including the recent rise in seat prices by the management and the rather lackluster quality of the performers’ voices.
But the reception given to the composer by the management was very enthusiastic as was that of some of the press, especially the critic of Rivista di Roma who noted that “even more than in ErnaniVerdi has endeavoured to shake off his former manner, to return to the springs of passion and affection”.
In the US, the opera was first presented in Boston on 10 May In modern times Foscari has received numerous productions. There was a flurry after the Second World War Vienna, Barcelona, London, Leningrad, New York ,and following a La Fenice staging in under Tullio SerafinPiero Cappuccilli led many performances around Italy at the end of that decade and the during the next, with the Rome production being taken up at the Metropolitan and in Chicago.
Also, concert opera performances have been common. The Opera Orchestra of New York has presented concert versions three times: Performances were conducted by the company’s music director, James Conlon. Today Foscari is regularly performed both in staged productions and concert versions. Members of the Council of Ten are waiting to enter the Council Chamber to try the case of Jacopo Foscari, the son of the Doge, who has been accused of murder.
Upon the arrival of Loredano Jacopo’s sworn enemy and his friend Barbarigo, they announce that the Doge has already entered the Chamber. They all enter the Chamber.
Having recently returned from exile, Jacopo is brought from the prison and expresses his love at seeing Venice again: When summoned to enter the Chamber and told that he can expect the Council to be merciful, Jacopo explodes in rage: He enters the Chamber.
Lucrezia Contarini, Jacopo’s wife, learns from her ladies in waiting that the trial is proceeding in the Council Chamber. She quickly demands to see the Doge, Jacopo’s father, but is told that she should pray for Jacopo’s freedom. Angrily, she implores heaven to be merciful: Her friend Pisana enters in tears; she relays the news that Jacopo has been sentenced to further exile and this provokes another furious outburst from Lucrezia: Now they add insult!
Pisana and the ladies beg her to trust in the mercy of God. The Council of Ten leaves the Chamber proclaiming that the evidence was clearly sufficient to convict Jacopo and that their actions will be seen as just and fair. The Doge, Francesco Foscari, enters and wearily sits down. He expresses anguish at what has happened to his son but, as his father, feels there is nothing he can do to save him: In tears, Lucrezia comes in and, when she tries to decry the actions of the Council, Francesco reminds her of his position as upholder of the law of Venice.
I due Foscari (Verdi, Giuseppe)
Angrily, she denounces the law as being filled only with hatred and vengeance and demands that he return her husband to her: The scene ends with the Doge lamenting the limits of his power and the conflicts between being both ruler and father, while Lucrezia continues to demand his help.
The sight of his tears gives her de hope.
Jacopo is alone in prison and laments his fate. Still delirious, he finds Lucrezia is with him; she tells him of the Council’s decision and the punishment of further exile. However, she tries to keep some hope alive and promises to join him in exile if need be. The Doge arrives and fodcari that in spite of the fact that he was forced to act severely, he loves his son.
“I DUE FOSCARI” OR RATHER ONE AND A HALF
Loredano arrives to announce the official verdict and to prepare Jacopo for his departure. He is contemptuous of the pleas of the Foscari and orders his men to remove Jacopo from his cell. In a final trio, Jacopo, the Doge, and Lucrezia express their conflicting emotions and, as Jacopo is taken away, father and daughter-in-law leave together.
The Doge laments his inability to help, acting, as he must, in the role of Doge before that of father. Lucrezia enters with her two children.
Jacopo embraces them while Lucrezia pleads with the councilors to no avail. Jacopo is taken away. While the people who have gathered express their joy at being together, Loredano and Barbarigo wait for the galley that will take Jacopo away to exile. He is led out, followed by his wife and Pisana, and expresses his feelings for Lucrezia: Together, in a huge choral number, Jacopo, Lucrezia, Pisano, Barbarigo, Loredano, and the people of Venice each express their feelings. The grief-stricken Doge expresses his feelings — Egli ora parte!
Barbarigo brings him proof that his son was in fact innocent, while Lucrezia comes in to announce Jacopo’s death: As she leaves, a servant announces that the Council of Ten wish to meet with the Doge. The Council, through its spokesman Loredano, announces that it has decided that Francesco, due to age, should give up his position as Doge.
Angrily, he denounces their decision: He asks for his daughter-in-law to be brought in and gradually lays down the trappings of his office.
When Lucrezia enters and addresses him with the foscair title “Prince”, he declares “Prince! That I was; now I am no longer. As it tolls a second time, Francesco recognizes that the end has come: As the bell tolls again, he dies; Loredano notes that “I am paid.
What does he mean?
He goes on to explain that “not one of the cabalettas begins with the usual instrumental anticipation He concludes with the idea that “this opera remains one of the composer’s most intimate and introspective scores”,  but it is left to Roger Parker to sum it all up:. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Lord Byron ‘s historical play, The Two Foscari. Francesco FoscariDoge of Flscari. Tullio Serafin Chorus and orchestra of La Fenice. Wikimedia Commons has media related to I due Foscari.