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

1989 C. René Hirschfeld wrote an chamber opera named "Bianca" based on the Florentine Tragedy. He used the German translation of Max Meyerfeld. The lacking first scene, a love scene between Bianca and the prince, he added using love poetry from Oscar Wilde himself. The opera was first performed at Salzburg Festival 1991.

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