Monday, June 26, 2006


Compare this entry from Wikipedia about Alfano's opera with what I said:

Sakùntala is a three act opera composed by Franco Alfano, first performed as La leggenda di Sakùntala at the Teatro Comunale in Bologna on 10 December 1921. The full score and orchestral materials were believed to have been destroyed when an allied bomb damaged the archives of Alfano's publisher Ricordi during World War II. Alfano reconstructed the opera, and it was performed at the Teatro dell'Opera in Rome on 9 January 1952 as Sakùntala. During preparations for a revival in Rome in April, 2006, a copy of the original 1921 score was discovered in the Ricordi archives, and the opera was performed for the first time in its original form in modern times under its original title.

Alfano, who wrote his own libretto, based his opera on Kalidasa's 5th-century BC drama Abhignānashākuntala.

Critically regarded as Alfano's best work, though seldom staged in recent years, Sakùntala was performed seven times for Italian radio between its premiere and 1979. These broadcasts featured such sopranos as Magda Olivero, Anna de Cavalieri, and Celestina Casapietra in the title role. The opera was also revived at the Wexford Opera Festival in 1982.

Dr B: The story is quite interesting. So it's considered Alfano's best work. Hmmm. I think I liked Cyrano better.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Most opera fans are familiar with Alfano as the man who finished Puccini's Turandot only to have the ending harshly rejected by Toscanini. What the majority are unfamiliar with is that the reason Toscanini selected Alfano in the first place was because of "Sakuntala". It is a fabulous piece of music with a unique style combining Impressionism and Orientalism in a highly original fashion. Although heavily laden with dissonance, by virtue of the slow progression of the chords, the ear is able to adjust and appreciate a haunting beauty.
I like Cyrano but love Sakuntala.