La fiamma

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La fiamma (The Flame) is an opera in three acts by Ottorino Respighi to a libretto by Claudio Guastalla based on Hans Wiers-Jenssen's 1908 play Anne Pedersdotter, The Witch. The plot is loosely based on the story of Anne Pedersdotter, a Norwegian woman who was accused of witchcraft and burnt at the stake in 1590. However, Respighi and Guastalla changed the setting of the opera to 7th century Ravenna. The melodramatic tale involves the illicit love of Silvana, the daughter of a witch, for her stepson Donello. When her husband Basilio dies of a heart attack, Silvana is accused of causing his death by witchcraft and is condemned to death. La fiamma premiered to considerable success on 23 January 1934 at the Teatro Reale dell'Opera in Rome in a performance conducted by Respighi himself. The production was directed by Alessandro Sanine with sets designed by Nicola Benois.


Role Voice type Premiere Cast, January 23, 1934
(Conductor: Ottorino Respighi)[1]
Silvana soprano Giuseppina Cobelli
Donello tenor Angelo Minghetti
Basilio baritone Carlo Tagliabue
Eudossia mezzo-soprano Aurora Buades d'Alessio
Monica soprano Laura Pasini
Agata soprano Matilde Arbuffo
Lucilla mezzo-soprano Giuseppina Sani
Sabina mezzo-soprano Giorgina Tremari
Zoe mezzo-soprano Anna Maria Mariani
Agnese di Cervia mezzo-soprano Angelica Cravcenco
Exorcist bass Augusto Romani
A bishop bass Pierantonio Prodi
A mother soprano Anna Maria Martucci
A cleric tenor Adelio Zagonara
A workman tenor Augusto Prot
Chorus (s,a,t,b)

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Premiere cast from Casaglia (2005)