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Atto Primo
Atto Secondo
Maometto II (Mehmed II)
  • Gioachino Rossini. Dramma in two acts. 1820.
  • Libretto by Cesare della Valle, after his verse drama Anna Erizo , perhaps influenced by Byron's The Siege of Corinth.
  • First performance at the Teatro S Carlo, Naples, on 3rd December 1820.
General Condulmiero tenor
Paolo Erisso, governor of Negroponte tenor
Anna, his daughter soprano
Maometto II bass
General Calbo contralto
Selimo tenor

The opera is set in the historical context of the fall of the Venetian colony of Negroponte to the Turks in 1476. The Venetian governor Paolo Erisso intends his daughter Anna to marry Calbo, but she loves Uberto, whom she had met in Corinth. Uberto turns out to be Mehmed II in disguise. Anna suffers a conflict between duty and love, choosing the former in marriage to Calbo and final death by her own hand as the Turkish forces storm Negroponte. For performance in Venice Rossini substituted a happy ending, with victory for the Venetian soldiers.

Maometto II was reworked by Rossini as Le siège de Corinthe (The Siege of Corinth), the action shifted to a Greek city to fit contemporary circumstances of the Greek War of Independence. The first act contains the famous terzettone or grand trio, for Anna, Erisso and Calbo, Ohimè! qual fulmine (Alas! What a thunderbolt), when Uberto is revealed to her as an impostor. This has been preceded by Anna's cavatina, Ah! che invan su questo ciglio (Ah! That in vain on these eyes), in which she dreads what is to come. The trio is followed by her prayer Giusto Cielo, in tal periglio (Just Heaven, in such danger) as the Turkish forces break into the town. Calbo comforts Erisso by praise of Anna's virtue in the aria Non temer: d'un basso affetto (Do not fear: of a base feeling that heart was incapable). 55


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