Rossini. Serie las óperas de Rossini. Nº 31 "Maometto Secondo". Una ópera sobre Mehmet II el conquistador de Constantinopla. Hoy 1 de Marzo de 1792 (29 de febrero de 1792) nace Rossini

Estrenada en en Nápoles el 3 de diciembre de 1820. . Rossini nació el 1 de Marzo de 1792 ( 29 de febrero) y murió el 13 de noviembre de 1868..

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Maometto II (título original en italiano; en español, Mehmed II) es una ópera en dos actos con música de Gioachino Rossini y libreto en italiano de Cesare della Valle, ambientado en los años 1470 durante la época de la guerra entre los turcos y los venecianos. Della Valle basó el libreto en una obra anterior suya, Anna Erizo. El nombre del rol titular, Maometto II, se refiere al sultán turco otomano histórico, el gran conquistador de Constantinopla, Mehmed II, quien vivió entre 1432 y 1481.


La ópera se compuso cuando la carrera de Rossini empezó a ralentizarse a una sola ópera al año, y apareció casi un año después de Bianca e Falliero, aunque le sucedió inmediatamente Matilde di Shabran. Rossini comenzó a componer la ópera en mayo de 1820 para Nápoles, pero varios levantamientos políticos, que amenazaban el gobierno del rey Fernando I, tuvieron que estar lo suficiente bajo control antes de permitir que continuara la actividad teatral y para que tuviera lugar la primera representación en el Teatro di San Carlo en Nápoles el 3 de diciembre de 1820. En el estreno, el bajo Filippo Galli desempeñó el papel de Maometto II, Andrea Nozzari fue Paolo, Isabella Colbran su hija Anna y Giuseppe Ciccimarra el noble Condulmiero.

Mientras que "(la ópera) no gustó mucho a los napolitanos", "fue bien recibida cuando Rossini la revisó en Venecia en el Teatro La Fenice en diciembre de 1822." En 1823 y 1824, Maometto II fue presentado en Viena y en Milán y luego en Lisboa en 1826, pero después se la perdió de vista debido a que "una gran parte de su partitura (fue adaptada) a un nuevo libreto en francés" y representada en París el 9 de octubre de 1826 como Le siège de Corinthe, las guerras de los años 1820 entre los griegos y los turcos eran entonces más tópicas que aquellas entre los turcos y los venecianos de la original.

Como Maometto II, la ópera desapareció y, aunque hoy se representa raramente, se revivió por el Festival Rossini en Pesaro en 1985. Se dio la primera representación en los Estados Unidos el 17 de septiembre de 1988, cuando fue presentada en la ópera de San Francisco. No hay referencias a una producción en el Reino Unido.

Esta ópera rara vez se representa en la actualidad; en las estadísticas de Operabase aparece con sólo 5 representaciones en el período 2005-2010.


Time: 1470
Place: Negroponte, in the Aegean Sea
Act 1
[For the Venice version, 1822: Rossini added an overture]

The palace of the Governor, Erisso

Byzantium has just fallen to the Turks, and the troops of Maometto II (Sultan Mehmed II) are laying siege at the Venetian city of Negroponte (Chalkis). Maometto has demanded the surrender of the city the following day.

Amongst the Venetians, a council of war is being held and different opinions as to proposed actions are expressed. Young Calbo pushes Paolo Erisso to go on fighting and defend the city, while General Condulmiero wishes to yield. The consensus is to continue fighting and the troops swear allegiance to Calbo.

Another part of the palace

Alone, Erisso's daughter, Anna, contemplates her father's plight. Aria: "Ah! che invan su questo ciglio" (Ah! In vain I call for sweet oblivion). Erisso enters along with Calbo, and he explains their situation, suggesting that she marry Calbo as additional protection. However, her discomfort is clear: she explains that she has fallen in love with a man named Uberto while her father was away in Venice. When told that this same Uberto traveled with Erisso and never remained in Corinth, she realizes that she has been duped by an unknown noble.

Trio: "Ohime! qual fulmine" (Alas, what a thunderbolt). Erisso gives her a dagger with which to defend herself if necessary.

[This begins the terzettone ("the big fat trio") which runs through the following 25 minutes of the action, including the tempo di mezzo of the cannon shot]

A cannon shot is heard, and Erisso and Calbo rush off to battle. Anna leaves to go to the church to pray.

A square outside the church

The women gather and, upon Anna's arrival, she learns from them that a traitor has allowed entry into the city by the Turks. Briefly, Anna prays: "Giusto cielo" (Merciful heaven, in such peril / no counsel, / no hope / is forthcoming). All take refuge in the church.

The city, the following morning

Maometto and his men enter the city, which he seems to know well. Selim is curious as to why, but his general reveals nothing. Then soldiers rush in and announce that Erisso and Calbo have been captured. Both men are led in, in chains. Maometto recognizes their gallantry, but demands that they and their men surrender and states that then all will be released. By his silence, Erisso rejects the offer and, as the two are about to be led away to be tortured, Anna and the women appear from the church.

Each character recognizes the situation with which they are confronted: Anna realizes that Maometto is the man who was her lover "Uberto"; Maometto is dumbfounded to re-discover Anna; and Erisso, similarly dumbfounded, cannot believe that she could have fallen for the Sultan. Each of the other characters also expresses their anguish or surprise. Anna threatens to kill herself unless Maometto releases Erisso and Calbo; he agrees. Although he is confused about her continuing love, he promises her a life of luxury.

Act 2
Maometto's tent

Anna, who has been taken to Maometto's tent, is surrounded by Muslim girls who appeal to her to soften her feelings towards him. Indignantly, she rejects them and states her determination to escape. At that moment, Maometto enters. He says that he understands her conflicting emotions on discovering that Uberto is now Maometto, but he still loves her and wishes her to reign with him as queen of Italy while he will allow her father and Calbo (who has been described as her brother) to live. Rejecting him, she declares "I loved Uberto; I loath a liar" and continues to explain that her love for her country is so strong that she could never love him as much.

In their duet ("Anna, tu piangi? Il pianto / pur non è d'odio un segno" / Anna, are you crying? Your tears are not a sign of hatred...) her conflicting emotions are revealed with Maometto declaring that she will eventually be his and Anna stating "I love, but sooner would I be buried than yield to love".

Noise from outside is revealed to be Maometto's soldiers ready to continue their attack on the citadel. As he prepares to leave, Maometto promises that while he still has a hope of possessing Anna, he will protect her father. She insists on something to guarantee her safety in his absence and, as a symbol of his promise and his protection, he gives her his imperial seal of authority. Urged on by his captains, Maometto vows to fight or die as they leave for battle in the citadel: (Aria: "All'invito generoso" / At this gallant request). Anna vows to find a means of preserving her honor, and also leaves.

The church vaults with Anna's mother's tomb

Erisso and Calbo are hiding in the vault. Erisso speaks of his frustration, wishing that he could be fighting again in the citadel. He kneels before his wife's tomb wishing that he too was dead and not having to endure his daughter's disgrace and to see her with Maometto. Calbo tries to assure him that Anna was duped, that she is innocent, and that she was forcefully abducted by Maometto's men: (Aria: "Non temer: d'un basso affetto / non fu mai quel cor capace" / Do not fear: that heart was never capable of base emotions).

[Venice version, 1822: At this point, Maometto enters and confront the two men. Maometto proclaims that he still wishes to marry Anna, but Erisso states that he would rather kill his daughter. In a duet which becomes a trio, the three men lay their out their claims and feelings, Calbo asserting his love for Anna, Erisso revealing that Anna has become Calbo's wife, and when Maometto swears vengeance upon the two men, Calbo taunts him to return to the battlefield. The trio concludes with all three claiming that Anna shall be his reward—as a father, as a lover, as a husband. Maometto then leaves. All of the confrontation between Anna, her father, and Calbo is omitted].

While Erisso hopes that Calbo is right, Anna enters. Initially, he spurns his daughter for consorting with the enemy but she swears that she will never marry Maometto. As proof, Anna gives him Maometto's seal, which will enable both men to come out of hiding. However, she declares that she must die, but not before her father marries her to Calbo at her mother's tomb. Erisso clasps both their hands in his as they all stand beside the tomb: (Terzettino: "In questi estremi istanti" / In these moments...). The two men depart for the combat against Maometto.

Alone, Anna contemplates her situation (Aria: "Alfin compita è la metà dell'opra" / At last one half of the task is accomplished). From the church above the vaults, a chorus of women are praying: "Nume, cui 'l sole è trono" / O God whose throne is the sun... Turn your face again to us.

[Venice version, 1822: The women join Anna and a commotion is heard as the battle rages. Suddenly, the Venetian soldiers rush in proclaiming their victory and they are followed by Erisso and Calbo. Erisso embraces his daughter and tells her that she must give herself in marriage to Calbo: "Let your hand be the reward for his love". She agrees. (Aria: "Tanti affetti in tal momento" / So many emotions all at once, Rossini's aria from La donna del lago (1819).

With the women and soldiers singing of their joy, Anna joins Calbo at the altar as the opera ends.]
When the women stop, they call out to Anna and a few of them enter the vault to tell her that Maometto has been defeated by Erisso and has fled, but that her life is now in danger, since he will be seeking revenge. She tells them that she would rather die.

Maometto's men rush in, but they appear to be powerless to act, in spite of her demands: "Sì ferite: il chieggo, il merto" / Yes, strike: I ask it, I deserve it. At that moment, Maometto and his captains enter and confront Anna. Maometto asks for his seal to be returned, but telling him that she gave it to her father and that she has married Calbo, she stabs herself and dies on her mother's tomb.

Crítica de Gramophone

Mehmet II was the Ottoman sultan who captured Byzantine Constantinople in 1453. The portrait attributed to Gentile Bellini, on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum, shows the man in pensive mood: bearded, turbaned, modestly dressed. There’s no sign of his ambition, his power or his cruelty. This is the Mehmet of Rossini’s opera, where he is a warrior, certainly, but also a lover.

Sad to say, the romantic side to the plot is pure fiction. Maometto is besieging the Venetian colony of Negroponte (the present-day Greek island of Euboea). Erisso, the governor, wishes his daughter Anna to marry Calbo, one of his generals. Anna, however, is in love with ‘Uberto’, whom she had met in Corinth. He turns out to be none other than Maometto. When the city falls, Anna fiercely rejects the sultan. Maometto leaves to continue fighting; Anna begs her father to marry her to Calbo. On Maometto’s return, she stabs herself by the tomb of her mother.

Rossini composed the opera in 1820, towards the end of his seven-year stint in Naples. The part of Anna was one of the many written for Isabella Colbran, the mistress who was to become his first wife. Lasting nearly three hours, Maometto secondo is laid out on a spacious scale. The first of the two acts has as its heart a terzettone (a ‘big trio’), which incorporates a change of scene and a women’s chorus. And Act 2 includes a fine terzettino – not all that little – as Calbo, Anna and Erisso bid one another farewell. In fact, the music throughout is quite excellent, and beautifully scored. It’s extraordinary to find that last year’s staging by Garsington Opera was the first in Britain; it has been well caught, live, in the company’s first venture into commercial recording. There is some stage noise and applause but nothing too intrusive.

Siân Davies and Caitlin Hulcup are outstanding, and Paul Nilon brings a welcome touch of steel to Erisso. Darren Jeffery doesn’t quite have the solidity and agility of Samuel Ramey on the Philips recording but he makes a Maometto to be reckoned with. David Parry keeps his forces well under control. A few passages are cut. The documentation includes the libretto and translation and an introduction by Richard Osborne. Now let’s have a production at Covent Garden or Glyndebourne.

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