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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 26-50 of 581 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor B-2509 10-in. 5/1/1905 Udite, udite o rustici Arcangelo Rossi Bass vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-2978 12-in. 1/3/1906 Brindisi Ernestine Schumann-Heink Contralto vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-3104 12-in. 2/11/1906 Spirto gentil Enrico Caruso Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-3154 12-in. 3/1/1906 Mad scene Marcella Sembrich Soprano vocal solo, with flute obbligato and orchestra composer  
Victor C-3181 12-in. 3/14/1906 Duetto Antonio Scotti ; Marcella Sembrich Vocal duet (soprano and baritone), with orchestra composer  
Victor B-3190 10-in. 3/19/1906 Bella siccome un angelo Antonio Scotti Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-3254 10-in. 4/5/1906 Il furioso Gustavo Bernal-Resky Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-4286 12-in. 3/6/1907 A tanto amor Mario Ancona Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-4349 12-in. 3/28/1907 Mad scene Nellie Melba Soprano vocal solo, with 2 flutes composer  
Victor C-4401 12-in. 4/15/1907 Daughter of the regiment overture Arthur Pryor's Band Band composer  
Victor C-4523 12-in. 5/22/1907 Una furtiva lagrima Florencio Constantino Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-4538 12-in. 5/28/1907 O bell' alma innamorata Florencio Constantino Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-4549 12-in. 5/31/1907 Quel guardo Alice Nielsen ; Victor Orchestra Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-4550 12-in. 5/31/1907 Verrano a te sull'aure Florencio Constantino ; Alice Nielsen Vocal duet (soprano and tenor), with orchestra composer  
Victor C-4834 12-in. 9/25/1907 Ardon gl'incensi Ellen Beach Yaw Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-4887 12-in. 10/18/1907 Di pescatore ignobile Carlo Albani Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-4998 12-in. 1/7/1908 Ardon gl'incensi Bessie Abott Soprano vocal solo composer  
Victor C-5008 12-in. 1/10/1908 In terra solo Enrico Caruso Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-5052 12-in. 2/3/1908 Sextette : Chi mi frena Enrico Caruso ; Francesco Daddi ; Marcel Journet ; Antonio Scotti ; Marcella Sembrich ; Gina Severina Vocal sextet (soprano, mezzo-soprano, 2 tenors, baritone, and bass), with orchestra composer  
Victor C-6061 12-in. 3/29/1908 Una furtiva lagrima Enrico Caruso Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-6133 12-in. 4/22/1908 Convien partir ('Tis time to part) Alice Nielsen ; Victor Orchestra Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-6134 10-in. 4/22/1908 Una vergine Florencio Constantino Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-6218 12-in. 5/20/1908 Belisario overture Arthur Pryor's Band Band composer  
Victor C-6397 12-in. 9/9/1908 Salut à la France Delaur Trio Vocal trio, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-6574 12-in. 11/2/1908 O luce di quest' anima Marcella Sembrich Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
(Results 26-50 of 581 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Donizetti, Gaetano," accessed April 21, 2024, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102598.

Donizetti, Gaetano. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved April 21, 2024, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102598.

"Donizetti, Gaetano." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 21 April 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

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

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