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Il giuramento

Composer: Mercadante Saverio

Instruments: Voice Mixed chorus Orchestra

Tags: Operas


Download free scores:

Act I PDF 54 MBAct II, III PDF 36 MB
Recitativo ed Aria: 'Fu celeste quel contento' PDF 2 MB
Aria: 'Alla pace degli eletti' PDF 1 MB



Selections. Cello(2) (Tonassi, Pietro)Complete. Piano (Unknown)Selections. Piano (Unknown)
Il giuramento (The Oath) is an opera in three acts by Italian composer Saverio Mercadante. The libretto, by Gaetano Rossi, is based on Victor Hugo's 1835 play Angelo, Tyrant of Padua. (This is the same source as Arrigo Boito, under the pseudonym of Tobia Gorrio, was to use for his libretto for Amilcare Ponchielli's La Gioconda).
The opera was first performed at La Scala, Milan, on 11 March 1837 and was "quickly taken up by other theatres throughout Italy". Within a year, it was staged in Vienna (April 1838) and later appeared in many European cities including London (June 1840) and Paris (1858) and in New York (February 1848).
As has been noted by Colleen Fay, there were aspects of this work which moved Italian opera in a new direction:
Its taut dramatic structure and vivid musical scene-painting set it apart from the operas of his day ... Not only do we hear in its music a reliable Italian lyricism, but also the early moves away from ornamentation for its own sake. Mercadante uses the orchestra not as a pale accompaniment to dramatic action, but as a full partner in the drama.
19th century
After the mid-19th century, the opera dropped in popularity and by 1900 it had "virtually disappeared". It has been noted that before 1900 the opera received 400 performances and Mercadante's La vestale 150 performances compared to the combined total of approximately 90 performances for Verdi's Giovanna d'Arco, Don Carlo (in all its versions), and Aroldo.
20th century and beyond
Occasional performances have been given in modern times, beginning with revivals in the 1950s. The opera was presented at the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto in June 1970 with Thomas Schippers conducting. German conductor Gerd Albrecht gave a concert performance in Berlin in 1974 and three further performances in 1979, one of which was recorded. It was also given at the Festival della Valle d'Itria in Martina Franca, Italy, in the summer of 1984, conducted by Bruno Campanella; this too was recorded and made available on CD. There were four staged performances given by the Angers-Nantes Opéra in France in November 1993, conducted by Giuliano Carella. It was also performed at the Wexford Festival Opera in December 2002 under Paolo Arrivabeni. The Washington Concert Opera in the US capital presented a concert version in May 2009 with Antony Walker conducting.
Setting: Syracuse Time: 14th century