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Gaetano Donizetti

Domenico Gaetano Maria Donizetti (29 November 1797 – 8 April 1848) was an Italian composer, best known for his almost 70 operas. Along with Gioachino Rossini and Vincenzo Bellini, he was a leading composer of the bel canto opera style during the first half of the nineteenth century and a probable influence on other composers such as Giuseppe Verdi. Donizetti was born in Bergamo in Lombardy. At an early age he was taken up by Simon Mayr who enrolled him with a full scholarship in a school which he had set up. There he received detailed musical training. Mayr was instrumental in obtaining a place for Donizetti at the Bologna Academy, where, at the age of 19, he wrote his first one-act opera, the comedy Il Pigmalione, which may never have been performed during his lifetime.

An offer in 1822 from Domenico Barbaja, the impresario of the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, which followed the composer's ninth opera, led to his move to Naples and his residency there until production of Caterina Cornaro in January 1844. In all, 51 of Donizetti's operas were presented in Naples. Before 1830, success came primarily with his comic operas, the serious ones failing to attract significant audiences. His first notable success came with an opera seria, Zoraida di Granata, which was presented in 1822 in Rome. In 1830, when Anna Bolena was first performed, Donizetti made a major impact on the Italian and international opera scene shifting the balance of success away from primarily comedic operas, although even after that date, his best-known works included comedies such as L'elisir d'amore (1832) and Don Pasquale (1843). Significant historical dramas did succeed; they included Lucia di Lammermoor (the first to have a libretto written by Salvadore Cammarano) given in Naples in 1835, and one of the most successful Neapolitan operas, Roberto Devereux in 1837. Up to that point, all of his operas had been set to Italian libretti.

Donizetti found himself increasingly chafing against the censorship limitations in Italy (and especially in Naples). From about 1836, he became interested in working in Paris, where he saw greater freedom to choose subject matter, in addition to receiving larger fees and greater prestige. From 1838, beginning with an offer from the Paris Opéra for two new works, he spent much of the following 10 years in that city, and set several operas to French texts as well as overseeing staging of his Italian works. The first opera was a French version of the then-unperformed Poliuto which, in April 1840, was revised to become Les martyrs. Two new operas were also given in Paris at that time. Throughout the 1840s Donizetti moved between Naples, Rome, Paris, and Vienna, continuing to compose and stage his own operas as well as those of other composers. From around 1843, severe illness began to limit his activities. By early 1846 he was obliged to be confined to an institution for the mentally ill and, by late 1847, friends had him moved back to Bergamo, where he died in April 1848 in a state of mental derangement due to neurosyphilis.

Birth and Death Data: Born November 29, 1797 (Bergamo), Died April 8, 1848 (Bergamo)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1898 - 1941

Roles Represented in DAHR: composer, arranger

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.

Recordings (Results 226-250 of 581 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Columbia 49766 12-in. 3/11/1920 Verrano a te sull'aure Maria Barrientos ; Charles Hackett Vocal duet (soprano and tenor), with orchestra composer  
Columbia 49768 12-in. 3/18/1920 Lucia di Lammermoor : Sextette Maria Barrientos ; Charles Hackett ; José Mardones ; George Meader ; Emma Noe ; Riccardo Stracciari Mixed vocal sextet, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 49821 12-in. 5/1/1920 O mio Fernando Cyrena Van Gordon Contralto vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 49848 12-in. 6/21/1920 O luce di quest'anima Florence Macbeth Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 49895 12-in. 9/20/1920 Una furtiva lagrima Charles Hackett Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 98086 12-in. 5/31/1923 Mad scene Florence Macbeth ; Ellis McDiarmid Female vocal solo, with flute obbligato and orchestra composer  
Columbia 98094 12-in. 9/23/1923 Spirto gentil Charles Hackett Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia W98323 12-in. 3/25/1927 Una furtiva lagrima Charles Hackett Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia W98381 12-in. 8/30/1927 Brindisi Sophie Braslau Contralto vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia W98664 12-in. 5/21/1929 Spirto gentil Charles Hackett Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 6178 12-in. approximately December 1911 Lucia di Lammermoor : Sextette Ellery Band Band composer  
Columbia 6896 12-in. approximately 1916 Il segreto per essere felici Clara Butt ; Henry J. Wood Contralto vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 10038 10-in. approximately 1903 to 1908 Don Pasquale : Bella siccome un angelo Vincenzo Reschiglian Baritone vocal solo composer  
Columbia 10042 10-in. approximately 1903 to 1908 Lucia di Lammermoor : Cruda funesta smania Vincenzo Reschiglian Baritone vocal solo composer  
Columbia 10043 10-in. approximately 1903 to 1908 Favorita : Vien Leonora Vincenzo Reschiglian Baritone vocal solo composer  
Columbia 10057 10-in. approximately 1903 to 1908 La favorita : I mio Fernando Tina Alasia Mezzo-soprano vocal solo composer  
Columbia 10061 10-in. approximately 1903 to 1908 Lucia di Lammermoor : Delle sue stanze Ettore Brancaleoni Bass vocal solo composer  
Columbia 10067 10-in. approximately 1903 to 1908 Lucrezia Borgia : Vieni la mia vendetta Ettore Brancaleoni Bass vocal solo composer  
Columbia 10078 10-in. approximately 1903 to 1908 Favorita : Spirto gentil Emilio Venturini Tenor vocal solo composer  
Columbia 10103 10-in. approximately 1903 to 1908 Elisir d'amore : Una furtiva lagrima Emilio Venturini Tenor vocal solo composer  
Columbia 10118 10-in. approximately 1903 to 1908 Favorita : Una vergine un angel di dio Emilio Venturini Tenor vocal solo composer  
Columbia 10123 10-in. approximately 1903 to 1908 Lucia di Lammermoor : Verrano a te sull'aure Leonilda Gabbi Paini ; Oreste Mieli Vocal duet (soprano and baritone) composer  
Columbia 10145 10-in. approximately 1903 to 1908 A tanto amore Filippo Aldobrandi Baritone vocal solo composer  
Columbia 10240 10-in. approximately 1903 to 1908 Elisir d'amore : Udite, udite o rustici Emilio Riguzzi Baritone vocal solo composer  
Columbia 10275 7-in. approximately 1903 to 1908 Lucia di Lammermoor : Cruda funesta smania Nicolò Fossetta Baritone vocal solo composer  
(Results 226-250 of 581 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Donizetti, Gaetano," accessed April 23, 2024, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102598.

Donizetti, Gaetano. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved April 23, 2024, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102598.

"Donizetti, Gaetano." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 23 April 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102598

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