A Florentine Tragedy

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A Florentine Tragedy is a fragment of a never-completed play by Oscar Wilde. The subject concerns Simone, a wealthy 16th-century Florentine merchant who finds his wife Bianca in the arms of a local prince, Guido Bardi. After feigning hospitality, Simone challenges the interloper to a duel, disarms him, and strangles him. This awakens the affection of his wife; and the two are reconciled.

In 1914 the young Italian composer Carlo Ravasegna (Turin 1891-Rome 1964) wrote a short opera "Una Tragedia Fiorentina" to a translation/libretto by Ettore Moschino. The libretto was published with Wilde's name by the Tipografia Subalpina, Turin, 1914.

Alexander von Zemlinsky wrote an opera based on a German translation of the play, entitled Eine florentinische Tragödie, which premiered in 1917.

Sergei Prokofiev wrote his opera Maddalena to his own libretto based on a play by Magda Gustavovna Lieven-Orlov written under the pen name Baron Lieven. That play was in turn based on Oscar Wilde's play. The opera had its premiere in a BBC studio recording in London in 1979; and its first live staging was in Austria in 1981.

T. Sturge Moore wrote an opening scene for this play for "presentation" purposes.[1]

  1. ^ The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde. Collins. pp. 689 (footnote). ; Luce/Methuen premiere of the Moore edition, 1908

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