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Elena da Feltre
Title Page
Act I
Act II
Act I
Act II
  • Saverio Mercadante. Dramma tragico in three acts. 1838.
  • Libretto by Salvadore Cammarano.
  • First performance at the Teatro San Carlo, Naples, on 1st January 1839.
Elena da Feltre, beloved of Guido soprano
Guido, lover of Elene bass baritone
Ubaldo, his friend, also in love with Elena tenor
Sigifredo, father of Elena bass
Imberga, daughter of Boemondo soprano
Boemondo, minister to Ezzelino tenor
Gualtiero, friend to Elena and Sigifredo bass

Set in the Guelph town of Feltre in Northern Italy in 1250, in the reign of the Ghibelline Ezzelino da Romano, the story concerns Elena degli Uberti, daughter of the proscribed Guelph leader Sigifredo, who is in love with Guido, the unwitting rival in love of his friend Ubaldo. Ezzelino’s minister Boemondo wants Guido to marry his daughter Imberga, whom he hates. Ezzelino and Boemondo seek to capture Elena's father, Sigifredo. When Ubaldo learns that Guido intends to marry Elena, he thinks of betraying him to Boemondo and then of abducting her. Sigifredo, a fugitive, overhears Ubaldo's attempt and when he intervenes he is taken prisoner. At the palace Boemondo makes it clear to Elena that her father's safety depends on her marriage to Ubaldo, thus persuading Guido to marry Imberga. Under threat she agrees and publicly declares her preference for Ubaldo. Guido is angry, but later suspicious of her motives. Meanwhile Sigifredo has been executed and, as the sounds of the approaching wedding of Guido and Imberga are heard, Elena learns of the deception, loses her reason and dies, while Ubaldo, grief-stricken, is left to mourn alone.

In his opera Elena da Feltre Mercadante abandons some of the current operatic conventions, stressing, rather, the drama in varied musical forms and avoiding longer solos that might impede the progress of the plot. Ubaldo, the leading tenor, is contrasted with his rival Guido, Elena's true lover, while she is duly allowed a moving prayer and a final mad scene.


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