La donna del lago
La donna del lago (The Lady of the Lake) is an opera by Gioachino Rossini with a libretto by Andrea Leone Tottola (whose verses are described as "limpid" by one critic)  based on the French translation of The Lady of the Lake, a narrative poem written in 1810 by Sir Walter Scott, whose work continued to popularize the image of the romantic highlands. Scott's basic story has been noted as coming from "the hint of an incident stemming from the frequent custom of James V, the King of Scotland, of walking through the kingdom in disguise".
It was the first of the Italian operas to be based on Scott's romantic works, and it was "deeply influential in the development of Italian romantic opera" to the extent that by 1840 (barely 20 years after this opera), there were 25 Italian operas based on his works, the most famous being Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor of 1835. Others in German, French and English followed.
Written for the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, this was the seventh of nine operas which Rossini wrote for that house between 1815 and 1822. A successful premiere on 24 October 1819 led to many performances throughout major European venues (as well as being presented in Cuba and by major South America houses) until about 1860, after which the opera disappeared until 1958. In modern times, performances have been given fairly frequently.
After being obliged to hurriedly leave Pesaro in May 1819 (it turned out to be his last visit there), Rossini returned to Naples in early in June with no projects in the offing, except to become involved with overseeing a new production of his La gazza ladra there. Also, a commission from Milan's La Scala for an opera, which would become Bianca e Falliero, had been offered and it was planned to be given in December of that year. Suddenly, the Italian composer Gaspare Spontini withdrew from a commitment to write two operas for the Naples house that season, thus leaving a huge gap. Rossini was quickly asked to write an opera for a September premiere rather than use an existing libretto: the house insisted upon a new opera and he accepted the challenge.
It seems that Rossini was initially attracted to Scott's poem when, in musicologist Philip Gossett's opinion, he was introduced to Scott's poem in translation by the young French composer Désiré-Alexandre Batton, a Prix de Rome winner then in Italy. Rossini immediately called upon the Naples-based librettist Andrea Leone Tottola (who is described as "a comparative mediocrity when set against the likes of a Felice Romani)". Later, the librettist claimed that the topic for "this difficult task" had been chosen by the Naples impresario.
As he worked on the libretto, Tottola "was also intrigued by the epic Celtic tales of Ossian" which were published in 1760 by James Macpherson who claimed to have found poetry written by the ancient bard Ossian. The published translations acquired international popularity and they set off an international craze for idealising and romanticizing the Scottish Highlands. Along with Napoleon and Thomas Jefferson who read them, Goethe included them in The Sorrows of Young Werther, and Schubert and Mendelsohn both composed music to them. The young Walter Scott was also greatly influenced by them.
Initially, the librettist was well aware of the difficulties which he faced in reducing the epic poem, with its detailed descriptions of the Scottish landscape and culture as well as the many additional characters present in the text. In his preface to the libretto, Tottola sums it up by stating:
- It is, in fact, no easy task to simplify the many beauties and many moments of interest of a poem in order to arrive at the regular conduct of a drama and to observe the strict laws of the stage. It therefore became unavoidable that I should make some arbitrary changes in the original poem...
But together, composer and librettist, reflecting the poetic meter of the Ossian tales "strove to interweave a sense of these very rhythms into the score and libretto." Richard Osborne describes what they accomplished:
- It is astonishing what he and Tottola achieved in so short a time; a complex and sophisticated theatrical structure, and unusually rich vein of dramatically viable melody, exquisite orchestrations, and a striking use of the kind of off-stage effects Rossini had been experimenting with in the royal pageants of Ricciardo e Zoraide.
He continues by noting the way in which "the source materials have been interwoven, giving the sense of a music drama that has in some measure been 'through-composed'. Gossett is less enthusiastic, noting that "it is almost impossible for Italian poetry to capture the quality of Scott's characteristic verse" but he continues by agreeing that "the spirit of the poem is there".
However, with the original September performance deadline missed, the new opera was presented in October and "was an enormous success", although it was not without some early disruptions from the audience.
It received its premiere on 24 October 1819, with the debut cast of seasoned singers who regularly worked together, including Isabella Colbran as Elena, Benedetta Rosmunda Pisaroni as Malcolm and Giovanni David as Uberto/King James.
Initial reactions were mixed: a contemporary account of the events of the evening reveal that, in the absence of members of the royal court, there were disruptions. A. Azevedo, in his 1864 book on the composer, notes that "the public found itself free of all restraint [....] the audience whistled and booed, and challenged both artists and composer throughout most the entire evening." However, the author does state that after Colbran's rondo finale, they were very enthusiastic and that she was called onto the stage many times, as was Rossini. However, he had refused to appear and had already left for Milan.
La donna remained in the San Carlo's repertoire for 12 years  up to the 1834/35 season. It was performed in London in February 1823 and was staged for 15 seasons until 1851, while it had its American debut in New Orleans in June 1829  followed by New York in 1833.
Many major cities in Italy, several in Spain, plus St. Petersburg and many of the South American houses saw productions up to 1860, when there was a performance in Trieste. After that it disappeared.
Although not staged at the Opéra, La donna was seen in Paris for 13 seasons between 1824 and 1854. While Rossini was living in Paris, he was approached by the director of the Opéra, Léon Pillet in 1846, with a request to write a new work. Rossini declined, because La donna had never been performed by that company. Therefore, Pillet began a collaboration with the composer Louis Niedermeyer and librettist Gustave Vaëz to change the story of La donna to a different time (but based upon another Scott work) and, eventually with Rossini's blessing, to add music from Zelmira and Armida. This "pasticcio", Robert Bruce, was given on 30 December 1846 and “throughout the winter to appreciative audiences".
20th century and beyond
The work went unperformed for almost a century until 1958 when a revival took place in Florence where it was also recorded at a performance at the Teatro della Pergola at the Maggio Musicale on 9 May. Ten years later, it was presented at the Camden Festival in London in 1969, with Kiri Te Kanawa in the lead role.
In 1981, after an absence in America of almost 150 years, a production was mounted by the Houston Grand Opera, starring Frederica von Stade, Marilyn Horne, Rockwell Blake and conducted by Claudio Scimone. The same production and cast were later presented at Covent Garden. In 1983, the Rossini Opera Festival at Pesaro presented the work with Katia Ricciarelli, Lucia Valentini Terrani and Samuel Ramey.
A variety of European and American companies - about 25 in all - gave performances of the opera from the 1960s into the early 2000s, and recordings of many of these presentations exist, including a concert performance in the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris on 2 March 1986. 1990 saw Cecilia Gasdia and Rockwell Blake in a performance in the Teatro Regio di Parma in January 1990.
In 1992, to mark the bicentenary of Rossini's birth, La Scala mounted its first production of the opera in 150 years, with a cast that included bel canto experts June Anderson, Rockwell Blake, and Chris Merritt, directed by Werner Herzog and conducted by Riccardo Muti. Anna Caterina Antonacci starred in a concert performance in the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam on 28 March 1992.
Juan Diego Flórez sang the role of Uberto in a performance in the Palafestival, Pesaro in August 2001, repeating that role in 2002 (with the Malcolm sung by Daniela Barcellona) at the Opéra Berlioz-Le Corume on 23 July 2002 with the orchestra of the Rome Opera. Again, both Florez and Barcellona appeared in the Kleines Festspielhaus in Salzburg in August of that same year also with Ruth Ann Swenson as Elena and Bruce Fowler (tenor) as Rodrigo.
2003 saw a concert performance under Eve Queler given by the Opera Orchestra of New York on 19 May. Elena was sung by Ruth Ann Swenson, Malcolm by Stephanie Blythe and Bruce Fowler (tenor) as Rodrigo. A concert performance was also given as part of the Edinburgh Festival at Usher Hall on 18 August 2006.
The Paris Opera staged its first production of the work in June 2010 at the Palais Garnier with a cast headed by Rossini specialists Joyce DiDonato as Elena and Juan Diego Flórez as King James/Uberto. The production by Luís Pasqual was conducted by Roberto Abbado. This production traveled from Paris to La Scala in October 2011.
The opera, featuring some of the Paris cast, was given by The Royal Opera, Covent Garden in the Spring of 2013. The production, by John Fulljames, was conducted by Michele Mariotti. A new production was presented on 13 July 2013 by The Santa Fe Opera as part of its festival season, also starring Joyce di Donato, with Lawrence Brownlee as Uberto/The King, Marianna Pizzolato as Malcolm, René Barbera as Rodrigo and Wayne Tigges as Douglas. 
|Role||Voice type||Premiere Cast, 24 October 1819
(Conductor: Gioachino Rossini)
|Elena, the Lady of the Lake||soprano||Isabella Colbran|
|Malcolm Groeme||contralto||Benedetta Rosmunda Pisaroni|
|Uberto, alias of Giacomo (King James V of Scotland)||tenor||Giovanni David|
|Douglas, father of Elena and former tutor to King James||bass||Michele Benedetti|
|Rodrigo, chief of the Highlanders||tenor||Andrea Nozzari|
|Serano, Douglas's retainer||tenor||Gaetano Chizzola|
|Albina, Elena's confidante||mezzo-soprano||Maria Manzi|
|Shepherds, hunters, kings' men, highlanders, courtiers - chorus|
The instrumentation is:
Scene 1: The shores of Loch Katrine
Shepherds are watching flocks at dawn on the shore and men in the nearby forests are hunting (Chorus: "Del di la messaggiera"). Elena crosses the lake and sings of her longing for her true love, Malcolm (Cavatina: Oh mattutini albori / "Love has proceeded you, to awake me again from my slumbers"). At the edge of the lake, Elena hears the sound of horns and vainly hopes that Malcolm will be amongst the hunters. However, King James who has disguised himself as "Uberto" in the hope of meeting the beautiful Elena, approaches from a distance, proclaiming himself as a lost hunter. She offers aid to him and James accepts as the two cross the lake towards Elena's home (Duettino: Scendi nel piccol legno / "Get into my little boat"). As they sail off together, the men in his entourage arrive, searching for the disguised King (Chorus: Uberto! Ah! dove t'ascondi? / "Oberto, where are you hiding?"). Frustrated, they agree to spread the search wider and pray for guidance in finding their leader.
Scene 2: Elena's home
Upon arrival at Elena's home, she explains her simple life but Uberto/King James sees the insignias of his ancestors and learns that Elena's father is Douglas, the King's former tutor now turned against the King. Elena's friends arrive and sing of her betrothal by her father to Rodrigo, chief of a Scots tribe opposed to King James - the Highlanders. Uberto/James becomes jealous. However, he determines that Elena is not in love with Rodrigo (Duet: Le mie barbare vicende / "What good will it do to hear about my cruel fortunes?"). Directly, he asks if there is someone she loves, and learns that this was only a brief moment in her past. Encouraged by the hope of his own prospects, he prepares to leave Elena's house (Duet: Cielo! in qual estasi! / "Heavens, I feel myself transported in ecstasy"): each expresses similar emotions. All leave and Elena goes inside.
Malcolm arrives, having determined to join the Highlanders. Alone, he recalls fond memories of Elena: (Aria: Elene! oh tu, che chiamo!, Deh vola a me un istante / "Elena! you whom I call!, Ah!, fly back to me for a moment, come back to me and say I love you"). Then he swears that he will take her away from the strongest man or die in the attempt. Unseen, Malcolm then watches Elena and her father discussing her upcoming marriage to Rodrigo. Despite her reluctance, Douglas orders his daughter to marry as he has commanded: (Aria: Taci, lo voglio, e basti / "Be quiet! It is my wish...Show me that you're a daughter worthy of her father"). As Douglas leaves, trumpets are heard acclaiming Rodrigo and he commands Elena to follow him and pledge her love to him.
Malcolm, who has overheard the conversation, approaches Elena and they pledge their undying devotion to each other (Duettino: Vivere io non saprò/ potrò, mio ben, senza di te / (Elena, then Malcolm): "Beloved, I shall not be able to live, my love, without you"). Together they leave.
The Highlanders' warriors urge all to fight on (Chorus: Qual rapido torrente / "Like a swift-flowing stream, surging over obstacles in its way") and welcome Rodrigo, their leader. He pledges to lead them to victory and to glory but, aside, he expresses anxiety to see his future bride: (Cavatina: Eccomi a voi, miei prodi / "I come to you my brave honor of the native soil"). His soldiers assure him that he will win the hand of the woman he loves and that victory is at hand.
Douglas enters and he and Rodrigo welcome one another, with the latter fervently expressing his desire to see Elena. (Rodrigo and Chorus: Ma dov'è colei / "But where is Elena, who kindles such a sweet flame in my breast"). Acclaimed by the assembled crowd for her beauty, Elena enters. Rodrigo approaches her, declaring his love: (Aria: Quanto a quest'alma amante / "My loving soul finds the sweetness of this moment"). Concerned that she does not appear to respond to Rodrigo, Douglas assures him that it is her modesty, but quickly father, daughter and suitor each express their hopes, concerns and fears: (Trio: Di opposti affetti un vortice / "A whirlwind of contrary emotions, Swirls about me").
Malcolm and his men arrive to join the Highlanders, demanding that they be put to the test. Despite Elena's efforts to hide her emotions, Douglas immediately understands where her heart lies. At the same time, Rodrigo offers his friendship to Malcolm and introduces Elena as his bride-to-be, but Rodrigo also perceives a connection between Malcolm and Elena as she tries to stifle Malcolm's growing anger. In a quartet accompanied by the chorus of soldiers and women, each expresses his or her conflicting emotions: (Rodrigo: Crudele sospetto, Chi me agiti il petto / "Cruel suspicion That sets me shuddering"; then Elena and Malcolm together: "Ah my affection - keep yourself hidden"; then Douglas: "Ah! Anger and resentment Tear my heart apart"; finally Albina and chorus: "Cruel suspicion twists Like a snake"). Abruptly, Serano enters to warn of an attack by the King's forces. Rodrigo, Malcolm and the Highlander warriors prepare to depart for battle: (Su...amici! guerrieri! / "Go on, friends and warriors, Go on, let's march, let's fight"). All leave for battle.
Scene 1: A thick wood with a cave
In the woods, Uberto/James has come to find Elena in the hope of saving her from the coming battles (Cavatina: Oh fiamma soave / "Oh sweet flame That sets my breast on fire! Show compassion To a faithful lover"). Meanwhile Elena asks Serano to find her father who she is expecting to see before he goes off to fight, and Serano leaves. Uberto/James approaches Elena and declares his love but she tells him that she is in love with Malcolm: (Duet, leading to a trio: Elena and Uberto: Alla ragion deh rieda / "Ah! may your agitated and overburdended soul Return to reason's control"). Nevertheless, Uberto gives Elena a ring which he tells her was given to him by the King and emphasizes that it will see her through any times of danger. As Uberto/James prepares to leave, Rodrigo steps forward, having overheard the prior exchange between the couple: (Duet: Qual pena in me già destra / "What distress in my fatal misfortune"". This becomes a trio with Malcolm's: Misere mie pupille! / "O my wretched eyes!".)  Overwhelmed with rage and jealousy, Rodrigo orders his men to reveal themselves and kill this stranger. Elena pleads with Rodrigo's men, but then Rodrigo determines to duel with Uberto himself. The two men exit, while Elena tries in vain to calm the situation. She follows them.
Scene 2: The interior of the cave
Malcolm enters, looking for Elena, but finds only Albina. Serano joins them, explaining that Elena has gone in search of her father, Douglas, who is travelling to the King's palace seeking peace. Despairing of his loss of Elena, Malcolm seeks his own death: (Aria: Ah! si pera: ormai la morte! / "Ah! Let me perish; death now Would be a relief for my ills"). However, he is then confronted by the arriving clansmen who announce that Rodrigo has been killed and that the Highlanders face certain defeat at the hands of the King's forces. Malcolm leaves for the palace, determined to rescue Elena from peril, even if it means risking his own life.
Scene 3: A room in the King's palace
Douglas begs his former student King James for forgiveness, not for himself but for his daughter and those who helped him on the field of battle. The King refuses Douglas and orders that he be taken away to await his decision. As Douglas is led away, the king is saddened by having to pretend to be so severe. Meanwhile, Elena has separately gained entry to the palace by showing her ring from "Uberto" and is left to wait for the king. There, she expresses the hope to be able to save the lives of her father, Malcolm and even Rodrigo (unaware of his death). Suddenly, in the next room she hears the voice of "Uberto" who is expressing his love for her: (Aria: Aurora! ah sorgerai / "Dawn! Ah! will you always Arise inauspiciously for me? Oh God! Why show me Elena's fair eyes?"). When "Uberto" comes in, Elena is thrilled, certain that he will help her gain an interview with the King.
Scene 4: The King's Throne Room
The couple enter the throne room as members of the King's court join them: (Chorus: Impogna il Re / "Let the King give us his orders"). Initially, Elena is puzzled by the courtiers' behaviour towards "Uberto", but suddenly she realises that Uberto and King James are one and the same. James, softening his stance due to his affection for Elena, decides to forgive Douglas, but he makes a show of severity by condemning Malcolm, and then relents and brings the young couple together. In her rondo finale, Elena rejoices to have saved both her father and her true love Malcolm, while everyone else rejoices that peace has been restored: (Rondo: Tanti affetti in tal momento! / "So many emotions at such moment / Come clamouring about my heart / That I cannot explain to you / My immense happiness")
In describing the conclusion of the first act in musical terms, Philip Gossett makes us aware that, in the stretta,:
- Rossini brings all the tunes together contrapuntally, with full orchestra, three separate choruses, soloists, opera, trumpets, harp, for what is certainly the most exhilarating moment in all his operas. Whether it or not it is true to Scott, it is clearly motivated by an intense desire to capture spirit of Scott, and this desire draws Rossini down compositional paths that he has never taken before.
It is significant that Naples, for whose Teatro San Carlo the opera was written, was the scene of many innovations in the opera seria form. Given its sophisticated opera-going audience "the composer could experiment with musical and dramatic forms in ways that would have met with incomprehension elsewhere." Preceding as it did Maometto II and Zelmira, "in its variety of moods, of forms, of vocal styles, of orchestration, it [La Donna del Lago] is one of the most engaging operas Rossini ever wrote [....] and is Rossini's most tuneful opera."
In summing up the musical and creative significance of this opera in Rossini's overall career, Gossett suggests that while Malcolm's two arias and Elena's final "tanti affeti" are "bel canto" at its finest, in this opera Rossini:
- embraced all musical techniques known to him, pushed into dramatic and structural territory largely uncharted in Italian opera, explored the riches of the orchestra, redefined the nature of the chorus, created, in short, a tradition to which later composers who still knew these works could only look back in awe.
Charles Osborne notes that the music of act 2 "remains on a high level" (when compared to the structural innovations of act 1) but several aspects draw his attention. These include Oberto's "andante cavatina" which begins with Elena: Oh fiamma soave ("Oh sweet flame / That sees my breast on fire!), followed by the duet Alla ragion, de rieda ("Ah! may your agitated and overburded soul") which then leads into a cabaletta trio with Rodrigo "the two tenors vying with each other in high-flying vocal agility", with the "winner" being Uberto with his high D. Osborne concludes by noting, as have other scholars, that this opera anticipates how the composer moved towards Guillaume Tell.
In his introductory essay in the booklet accompanying the Opera Rara recording, Jeremy Commons takes many of the above comments one step further by drawing attention to the way in which the composer takes the melody of Elena's opening cavatina (Oh mattutini albori! / "Oh rays of morning"), brings it back and into the duet with Uberto (Elena: Scendi nel piccolo legno / "Step down into my little craft"), echoes it in the orchestra when the couple arrive at the island, and then re-introduces it right at the end of act 2 when we hear Uberto singing it off-stage in the form of a canzoncina :(Aurora! ah sorgerai / "Dawn! Ah! Will you always / Arise inauspiciously for me?"). Commons explains that this linking "is evidence that Rossini was taking the first step towards a concept of an opera, not as a series of disparate items, but as an organized whole in which the parts refer back and forth to each other, adding extra resonances each time that material returns.
Rodrigo di Dhu
Opera House and Orchestra
Orchestra and Chorus of RAI Torino
(Recording of a broadcast performance, 20 April)
|Audio CD: Opera d'Oro
Cat: OPD 1206
|1981||Frederica Von Stade,
Houston Symphony Orchestra and Houston Grand Opera Chorus
(Recording of a performance at the Houston Grand Opera, 18 October)
|Audio CD: Celestial Audio
Cat: CA 417
Lucia Valentini Terrani,
The Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the Prague Philharmonic Choir
|Audio CD: CBS "Masterworks",
Cat: CD 39311;
Cat: CDC 31
Teatro alla Scala Orchestra and Chorus
(Recorded at performances at La Scala, June)
|Audio CD: Philips
Cat: 473 307-2;
DVD: Opus Arte,
Cat: OALS 3009D
Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Edinburgh Festival Chorus
(Recording of a concert performance in the Usher Hall, Edinburgh, 18 August)
|Audio CD: Opera Rara,
Cat: ORC 34
- Osborne, Charles 1994, p. 95
- Osborne, Charles 1994, p. 94
- The legend quoted in Mays 2013, p. 9
- Gossett and Brauner (2001), in Holden (Ed.), p. 785
- Commons 2007, pp. 9 - 12
- Osborne, Richard 2007, pp. 61 - 62
- Gossett 1983, p. 12
- Pistone (1995), p. 3
- Mays 2013, pp. 17 - 18
- Morère 2004, pp. 75-6.
- Ferguson 1998, p. 227.
- Tottola's preface to the libretto quoted in Commons, p. 29
- Osborne, Richard (2007), p. 280
- A letter from Stendhal to his friend De Mareste, quoted in Osborne, R. 2007, p. 62
- Warrack & West, p. ?
- A. Azevedo in G. Rossini: Sa Vie et Ses Oeuvres (Paris, 1864), quoted in Commons 2007, pp. 18 - 20
- Kaufman 2007, p. 44- 51
- Osborne, R. 2007, pp. 136 - 137. Osborne gives the date of the premiere on p. 137 as December 23 and on p. 357 as December 30. Weinstock 1968, p. 238, explains that the premiere was originally scheduled for December 23, which is the date found in the printed libretto, but was postponed to December 30, because the lead mezzo-soprano, Rosine Stoltz, was ill. See also Le Ménestrel (vol. 14, no, 4 (27 December 1846).
- Donal Henahan, "Opera: Houston Digs up Rossini Donna del Lago", The New York Times, 17 October 1981
- Recordings of La donna del lago on operadis-opera-discography.org.uk
- Christian Peter, "La Donna del Lago" on forumopera.com 14 June 2010] (in French)
- Rupert Christiansen, "La Donna del Lago, Royal Opera, Royal Opera House, review", The Telegraph (London), 18 May 2013
- James Keller, "Review: Joyce DiDonato dazzles in La donna del lago, The Santa Fe New Mexican, 15 July 2013. Retrieved 15 July 2013
- Osborne, R. (2007), p. 283: He regards this trio as "the central achievement of act 2"
- Gossett (1983), p. 13 - 15
- Osborne, Charles (1994), pp.96-97
- Commons (2007), pp. 40 - 41
- Commons, Jeremy (2007), "La donna del lago" in booklet accompanying the Opera Rara recording
- Ferguson, W. (1998). The Identity of the Scottish Nation: an Historic Quest. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 0748610715.
- Kaufman, Tom (2007), "Historical Performances of La donna del lago" in booklet accompanying the Opera Rara recording
- Lajarte, Théodore de (1878), Bibliothèque musicale du Théâtre de l'Opéra, volume 2 [1793–1876]. Paris: Librairie des Bibliophiles. View at Google Books.
- Gossett, Philip (1983), "La Donna del Lago and the revival of the Rossini 'opera seria' " in the booklet accompanying the 1983 Pollini recording.
- Gossett, Philip & Patricia Brauner (2001), in Holden, Amanda (Ed.) (2001), The New Penguin Opera Guide, New York: Penguin Putnam. ISBN 0-14-029312-4
- Mays, Desirée (2013), Opera Unveiled: 2013. Santa Fe, NM: The Santa Fe Opera, 2013. ISBN 978-1-4675-5718-4
- Morère, P. (2004). Scotland and France in the Enlightenment. Bucknell University Press. ISBN 0838755267.
- Osborne, Charles (1994), The Bel Canto Operas of Rossini, Donizetti, and Bellini, Portland, Oregon: Amadeus Press. ISBN 0-931340-71-3
- Osborne, Richard (1990), Rossini, (Master Musicians Series). Ithaca, New York: Northeastern University Press. ISBN 1-55553-088-5 ISBN 1-55553-088-5
- Osborne, Richard (2007), Rossini: His Life and Works Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-518129-6
- Pistone, Danièle (Trans. E. T. Glasgow) (1995), Nineteenth Century Italian Opera from Rossini to Puccini, Portland, OR: Amadeus Press. ISBN 0-931340-82-9
- Warrack, John and West, Ewan (1992), The Oxford Dictionary of Opera New York: OUP. ISBN 0-19-869164-5
- Weinstock, Herbert (1968). Rossini: A Biography. New York: Knopf. OCLC 192614 and 250474431. Reprint (1987): New York: Limelight. ISBN 978-0-87910-071-1.
- Osborne, Richard, "Donna del lago, La" in Stanley Sadie, (Ed.), The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, Vol. One. p. 1221. London: MacMillan Publishers, Inc. 1998 ISBN 0-333-73432-7 ISBN 1-56159-228-5