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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 201-225 of 581 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Columbia 30227 12-in. 3/25/1909 Una furtiva lagrima Florencio Constantino Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 30246 12-in. 4/17/1909 Angelo casto e bel Florencio Constantino Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 30247 12-in. 4/17/1909 Tu che a Dio, spiegasti l'ali Florencio Constantino Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 30439 12-in. 4/15/1910 Verranno a te sull'aura Eugenie Bronskaja ; Florencio Constantino Vocal duet (soprano and baritone), with orchestra composer  
Columbia 30443 12-in. ca. Jan.-Mar. 1910 Lucia di Lammermoor : Sextette Ramon Blanchart ; Eugenie Bronskaja ; Luigi Cilla ; Florencio Constantino ; Bettina Freeman ; José Mardones Mixed vocal sextet, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 30447 12-in. 4/15/1910 Regnava nel silenzio Eugenie Bronskaja Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 30462 12-in. 4/21/1910 Fra poco a me ricovero Florencio Constantino Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 30489 12-in. 5/4/1910 Lucia di Lammermoor : Selections Prince's Military Band Band composer  
Columbia 30709 12-in. 4/1/1911 Sextette Columbia Italian Opera Company Mixed vocal chorus, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 30717 12-in. ca. Jan.-Oct. 1911 Ardon gl'incensi Lydia Lipkowska ; Marshall P. Lufsky Soprano vocal solo, with flute and orchestra composer  
Columbia 30880 12-in. 10/30/1911 O luce di quest 'anima Bernice De Pasquali Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 30925 12-in. ca. 1911 Ah verranno a et Alice Nielsen ; Giovanni Zenatello Vocal duet (soprano and baritone) composer  
Columbia 36424 12-in. 7/30/1912 Una furtiva lagrima Orville Harrold Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 36460 12-in. 10/9/1912 Una furtiva lagrima Alessandro Bonci Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 36656 12-in. 2/27/1913 Spirto gentil Alessandro Bonci Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 37076 12-in. ca. 1914 O mio Fernando Eleanora de Cisneros Contralto vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 37135 12-in. 1/19/1915 Oh, summer night Caroline Hudson-Alexander ; Andrea Sarto Vocal duet (soprano and baritone), with orchestra composer  
Columbia 37344 12-in. 7/13/1915 What from vengeance Columbia Operatic Sextette Mixed vocal sextet, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 48627 12-in. 3/14/1916 Ardon gl'incensi Maria Barrientos ; Marshall P. Lufsky ; Giorgio Polacco Soprano vocal solo, with flute obbligato and orchestra composer  
Columbia 48628 12-in. 3/14/1916 Regnava nel silenzio Maria Barrientos ; Giorgio Polacco Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 48629 12-in. 2/14/1916 Lucia di Lammermoor : Cavatina, part II Maria Barrientos Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 48748 12-in. 4/28/1916 Spirto gentil Hipólito Lázaro Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 48749 12-in. 4/28/1916 Una vergine, un angiol di Dio Hipólito Lázaro Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 49310 12-in. 2/16/1918 Lucia di Lammermoor : Sextette Prince's Band Band composer  
Columbia 49721 12-in. 12/13/1919 Lucia di Lammermoor : Selections Giuseppe Bamboschek ; Metropolitan Opera Orchestra Orchestra composer  
(Results 201-225 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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