In the years of furious and final creativity (between, about 1837-1843) Gaetano Donizetti would know great success and terrible tragedy. On the one hand he would experience the death of his parents; all three of his children would not survive to adulthood and his wife would fall to cholera. In parallel his fecund talent would ceaselessly enable him to work continuously, until his own final mental eclipse would overtake him in 1843. By some counts he would achieve 60-75 (I can find no agreement) operas; 16 symphonies; 19 string quartets (I’ve heard many and they are lovely) and over 190 songs. In his final years of work he would pen Don Pasquale, La Favorita, Roberto Deveraux, La Fille du Regiment and something called Maria Padilla. This latter is a true surprise and a work of rare beauty and extraordinary musical invention. It gives proof to the fact that there is just more great music, happily, than we can ever know.
No… sola mi lasciate …
In tal punto solenne , che decide
No … leave me alone …
In this solemn moment which will
forever decide my fate
What follows is a royal apotheosis and debacle simultaneously, the complete “double” change of heart of the man who would be King and a completely unexpected Napoleonic gesture from a woman who rises to heroic dimensions in the causes of love and honor.
Find out how Donizetti manages all this with his unexpected opera Maria Padilla. The conventions start breaking at noon on Saturday Afternoon at the Opera on KPAC and KTXI.
by Ron Moore