Jump to navigation Jump la Sonnambula: Come Per Me Sereno PDF search This article is about the Bellini opera. The sleepwalker in act 2, sc.
NR 05432600 / Vocal and Piano / SCORE /
The role of Amina was originally written for the soprano sfogato Giuditta Pasta and the tenor Giovanni Battista Rubini, but during Bellini’s lifetime another soprano sfogato, Maria Malibran, was a notable exponent of the role. Amina’s final aria is inscribed on Bellini’s tomb in the Catania Cathedral in Sicily. However, there was also a contract for a second Milan house for the following winter season for as-yet an unnamed opera, but it had already been agreed that Giuditta Pasta, who had achieved success in Milan in 1829 and 1830 appearing in several major operas, would be the principal artist. Then Bellini experienced the re-occurrence of an illness which had emerged in Venice due to pressure of work and the bad weather, and which consistently recurred after each opera. The gastro-enteric condition—which he described as « a tremendous inflammatory gastric bilious fever »— resulted in his being cared for by friends. By 15 July they had decided on a subject for early 1831, but it was uncertain as to whether Pasta was interested in singing a trousers role, that of the protagonist, Ernani, in an adaptation of Victor Hugo’s Hernani, later set to music by Giuseppe Verdi in 1844. That music which he was beginning to use for Ernani was transferred to Sonnambula is not in doubt, and, as Weinstein comments, « he was as ready as most other composers of his era to reuse in a new situation musical passages created for a different, earlier one ».
During Bellini’s lifetime another sfogato, Maria Malibran, was to become a notable exponent of the role of Amina. With its pastoral setting and story, La sonnambula was an immediate success and is still regularly performed. The opera’s premiere performance took place on 6 March 1831, a little later than the original date. Its success was partly due to the differences between Romani’s earlier libretti and this one, as well as « the accumulation of operatic experience which both and Romani had brought to its creation. Later, it was a vehicle for showcasing Jenny Lind, Emma Albani and—in the early 20th century—for Lina Pagliughi and Toti Dal Monte. Weinstein’s account of performances given charts those in the 20th century beginning from 1905. Stagings were presented as frequently as every two years in one European or North American venue or another, and they continued through the 1950s bel canto revivals up to the publication of his book in 1971.
Contributing to the revivals were Joan Sutherland’s taking the role of Amina at Covent Garden in 1961 and at the Metropolitan Opera in 1963, where the role become one of her most significant successes. While not part of the standard repertory, La sonnambula is performed reasonably frequently in the 21st century. 1990s have been recorded on CD and DVD. 127 performances of 21 productions in 16 cities presented since 1 August 2012 as well as those planned to be staged up to 2015. All is joy and merriment I alone am miserable ». She is consumed with jealousy for she had once been betrothed to Elvino and had been abandoned by him in favour of Amina. The lovelorn Alessio arrives, but she rejects his advances.
The sound of horses’ hooves and a cracking whip is heard. A stranger arrives, asking the way to the castle. Lisa points out that it is getting late and he will not reach it before dark and she offers him lodging at her inn. When he says that he knows it, all are surprised. I spent the calm and happy days of my earliest youth ». Lisa enters Rodolfo’s room to see if all is well. She reveals that his identity is known to all as Rodolfo, the long-lost son of the count.
She is flattered when he begins a flirtation with her, but runs out at the sound of people approaching, dropping her handkerchief which the Count picks up. He sees the approaching phantom who he recognises as Amina. Amina continues to sleep on the sofa as the villagers arrive at the inn. Lisa enters and points to Amina, who wakes up at the noise. Elvino, believing her faithless, rejects her in fury. Heaven keep you from feeling ever the pain that I feel now! Alessandro Sanquirico’s set design for the act.
Amina and Teresa arrive and are on a similar mission, but Amina is despondent, although Teresa encourages her daughter to continue. They then see Elvino coming in the wood looking downcast and sad. Lisa, Alessio, Elvino and the villagers are in the square. Elvino declares that he will renew his vows and proceed to marry Lisa. Learning of the impending marriage, Teresa confronts Lisa, who says that she has never been found alone in a man’s room.
Teresa produces the handkerchief Lisa had dropped. The Count is unwilling to say what he thinks of this, but continues to insist on Amina’s virtue. Elvino demands proof and Rodolfo, seeing the sleeping Amina walking across the high, dangerously unstable mill bridge, warns that to wake her would be fatal. Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Chorus and Ballet. Bellini to Vincenzo Ferlito , April 1830, in Weinstock 1971, pp.
June 1830, in Weinstock 1971, p. Bellini to his Venetian friend Giovanni Battista Peruchinni, 3 January 1831, in Weinstock 1971, p. Glinka, Memoires, in Weinstock 1971, p. Performance data », in Weinstock 1971, pp. Notes in literature accompanying the Bartoli CD recording. Operabase list of performances given since 1 August 2012 on operabase.