Fedora Umberto Giordano
Opera in 3 acts
Libretto by Arturo Colautti, based on the play by Victorien Sardou
First performed at Teatro Lirico, Milan, 17 November 1898
Director John Wilkie
Conductor Oliver Gooch
With the If Opera Ensemble and resident orchestra Bristol Ensemble
Sung in Italian with English surtitles
Belcombe Court, Bradford on Avon
In the late, great Italian operatic repertoire, alongside the ‘super-operas’, you will find a number of pearls that have grown in the consciousness of audiences around the world. These are operas that carry all the ingredients for spectacular and powerful evenings at the theatre; strong characters, stories of intrigue, love and tragedy and of course, lyrical, gorgeous music. Fedora by Umberto Giordano is one such opera and whilst the composer is probably better known for Andrea Chenier, Fedora isn’t far off. In the opera’s premiere, the role of Loris Ipanov was created by Enrico Caruso and ever since a procession of the most exalted singers in history have assumed the opera’s principal roles in all the great houses of the world and on recordings.
Fedora is an opera that encompasses love, murder, betrayal and tragedy, moving from Russia, to Paris and Switzerland. It is a world of royalty, aristocracy and privilege but none of this can protect its central characters from the vicissitudes of love and jealousy. When Princess Fedora seeks revenge on the man she believes murdered her betrothed, she sets in motion a train of tragic events that will ultimately cost her everything.
Fedora is an opera of sweeping melodies, febrile emotion and glorious orchestral colours. It includes one of the most intensely passionate tenor arias in the canon (Amor ti vieta), a mesmerising intermezzo and possibly one of the cleverest dramatic scenes in the repertoire.
Fedora has enjoyed recent, sell out productions at both The Met in New York and La Scala in Milan so its time has come once more. The If Opera ensemble are proud to bring this magnificent opera to audiences, offering a rare (it hasn’t been seen in the UK since 2006) but precious opportunity to see and hear it again.
If Opera’s new production of Fedora will be directed by John Wilkie and conducted by If Opera Artistic Director Oliver Gooch.
Image reproduced by kind permission of Leighton House, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea