The Story of 'Il Campanello'

Donizetti's Il Campanello di Notte (The Night Bell) was so successful that its premiere was revived every year for a whole decade after it took place in 1836 at the Teatro Nuovo in Naples. Five days after its world premiere, it was performed at the Lyceum Theatre in London. Nowadays, the average opera aficionado has likely never heard of Campanello as it is rarely performed. On the other hand, the extenuating personal and socio-economic circumstances under which this one-act farce was composed are quite interesting. Campanello was conceived during a highly creative and successful decade for Donizetti, along with masterworks such as Anna Bolena (1830), L'Elisir d'amore (1832), Lucia di Lammer

The Story of 'Gianni Schicchi'

For the casual operagoer, the name “Puccini” is synonymous with tragedy. Young artists in poverty. Tuberculosis. Cross-cultural bigamy...

Opera: not just for the wealthy elite

Narrative storytelling sits at the heart of human existence. Professional sports would not exist were it not for the narratives we build around it. History is the narrative of what happened before us. Even the way we perceive our own lives is often through narrative. Sung theatre is just another medium for narrative, albeit one with a legacy of over 400 years. Why is it that opera is treated so differently than other forms of musical storytelling, specifically its closest analog, musical theatre? In the early days of opera, it was an art form exclusively for the massively wealthy. Rich nobles would commission new works, and then pay all of the costs of production. Then they would present the

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