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L’Arlesiana (concert version)

Francesco Cilea (1866 – 1950)

Concert version
Opera in three acts
Libretto by Leopoldo Marenco, based on Alphonse Daudet
First performed on 27th November 1897 in Mailand
Premiered at the Deutschen Oper Berlin on 21st February 2018

In Italian language with German and English surtitels

2 hrs 15 mins / 1 interval

Pre-performance lecture (in German): 45 minutes prior to each performance

The Concert Programme

A seductive beauty from a nearby town, whose dubious morals filter through from the anecdotes of her lover, even though we never get to see the woman concerned. A lovesick tenor who is beyond help, even succour in the form of the honest love of a chaste maiden. A worried mother, whose affection towards her sons is unequally dispensed. A boorish rival suitor, a wise shepherd, floral choirs, bucolic atmosphere… All this infuses Francesco Cilea’s L’ARLESIANA (The Girl from Arles) with a special charm that combines milieu-based verismo, moving bel canto strokes and premonitory melancholy. Rarely performed today, Cilea’s L’ARLESIANA almost topped the better-known ADRIANA LECOUVREUR in the composer’s estimation. He went on to rework the opera several times, looking to mine the material for new aesthetic elements. The premiere in 1897 marked the beginning of a young Enrico Caruso’s international career. In the concertante performance at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Joseph Calleja – a winner of the Caruso Competition - steps into the shoes of the famous Italian tenor. Dolora Zajick, the celebrated Verdi interpreter, and Guanqun Yu sing the roles of embattled mother and loving innocent respectively.