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Donizetti: Parisina / Carmen Giannattasio, Ann Taylor

Notes & Reviews:

Donizetti’s gripping opera Parisina is rarely performed today — even though it was widely staged during the two decades following its premiere. The plot is unusually dark. Parisina, the wife of Azzo, a 15th-century Duke of Ferrara, has fallen in love with Ugo, who turns out to be a child of Azzo’s previous marriage. In furious anger at her outlandish passion, Azzo has his own son murdered, and presents his anguished stepmother with the corpse. This horrifying scenario was just the sort of passionate narrative to set the composer’s musical pulses racing and the opera remained Donizetti’s personal favorite among his works for many years.


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