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Fedora

Umberto Giordano 1867–1948

Melodrama in 3 acts
Libretto by Arturo Colautti based on Victorien Sardou's Fédora (1882)
First performed November 17 1889, Teatro Lirico, Milan
Production purchased from the Royal Opera in Stockholm, where it opened December 10 2016
The work has never been performed in Frankfurt before

Sung in Italian with German & English surtitles

Introduction (on video, in German) will appear here and on YouTube shortly before opening night

The title figure in Umberto Giordano's verismo thriller moves between extremes at breathtaking speed: this Russian princess is a spy, avenger, lover, martyr and betrayed woman all in one. After her fiancé is assassinated she decides to track down Loris Ipanow, his murderer, in Paris, working undercover for the police. They fall in love and decide to try and risk starting a new life in the Swiss alps. But their past catches up with them …

Giordano often focused on people in exceptional emotional and social situations. His biggest success was Andrea Chénier (1896), set in the time of the French revolution. In Fedora, his next opera, based on a drama by Victorien Sardou, his characterisations were even more polished. He gave the scenes in the story their own musical language: romantic piano music in the salons in Paris and folk music, and even a song accompanied by the accordion, in the mountains at the end of the opera, creating an almost surreal mosaic of sound.

A tenor made his international breakthrough at the world premiere at La Scala Milan in 1898 - Enrico Caruso! The work vanished for a long time after the 2nd World War – or was deemed - unfairly – as nothing more than a vehicle for prima donnas and star tenors. Christof Loy got down to the nitty-gritty in this multi-layered opera, concentrating on the inner conflict and loneliness of the protagonist: her dream of happiness with Loris remains a dream.