04 Jun - 12 Jul 2020
Rarely-performed verismo (‘realism’) blockbuster La Gioconda was triumphant when first staged at La Scala, Milan – the model for the Theatre in the Woods – to become the most successful new Italian opera between Verdi’s Aida (1871) and Otello (1887). It ran and ran.
Set in Venice during Carnival, ballad-singer Gioconda has the misfortune to have caught the eye of Barnaba, a spy for the Inquisition. Alas, she is in love with Enzo. Her rival for Enzo’s heart is Laura who performs an act of great compassion. But for Gioconda it must end in death.
A starry international cast is led by Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja.
Gioconda: Amanda Echalaz
Enzo: Joseph Calleja
Laura: Ruxandra Donose
Barnaba: David Stout
Alvise: Clive Bayley
La Cieca: Elisabetta Fiorillo
Conductor: Gianluca Marciano
Director: Stephen Medcalf
Designer: Francis O’Connor
Movement: Sarah Fahie
Lighting Director: John Bishop
An opera in four acts
Sung in Italian with surtitles in English
Music: Amilcare Ponchielli
Libretto: Tobia Gorrio (anagrammatic pseudonym of Arrigo Boito). Based on Angelo, Tyrant of Padua, a play in prose by Victor Hugo, 1835.
First performance: 8 April 1876, Teatro alla Scala, Milan
UK premiere: 31 May 1883, Covent Garden
With the Orchestra of English National Opera