Cyrano de Bergerac (Alfano)

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Cyrano de Bergerac
Opera by Franco Alfano
Franco Alfano circa 1919 Emporium.jpg
The composer c. 1919
LibrettistHenri Caïn
Based onEdmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac
Premiere22 January 1936 (1936-01-22) (in Italian)

Cyrano de Bergerac is a four-act opera with music by Franco Alfano, and libretto by Henri Caïn, based on Edmond Rostand's drama Cyrano de Bergerac.


The opera received its first performance in Rome on 22 January 1936, conducted by Tullio Serafin, with Maria Caniglia and José Luccioni. The first performance in Paris was on 29 May 1936 at the Opéra-Comique.[1]

Although Alfano originally set the text in French, the premiere was sung in Italian, as were many early Italian productions. In recent years, most productions have returned to the original French text, which was used in the Paris premiere.

Contemporary commentary on the opera by Guido M. Gatti criticised the composer as fearing "to seem too melodramatic", and the opera for being "overdecorated and labored" and containing "difficult and tortuous vocal writing". However, the same analysis also mentioned that "the opera has moments of definite effectiveness and exquisite poetry".[2]

The US premiere was on 13 May 2005, when the opera was presented at the Metropolitan Opera with Plácido Domingo in the title role. In May 2017 it was presented anew at the Metropolitan Opera with Roberto Alagna in the title role, and soprano Jennifer Rowley as the female lead Roxane in her Metropolitan Opera role debut.[3][4][5][6]


Role Voice type Premiere cast, 22 January 1936
(Conductor: Tullio Serafin)
Roxane soprano Maria Caniglia
La duègne mezzo-soprano Agnese Dubbini
Soeur Marthe mezzo-soprano Edmea Limberti
Lisa soprano Matilde Arbuffo
Cyrano de Bergerac tenor José Luccioni
De Guiche baritone Giuseppe Manacchini
Carbon bass Giacomo Vaghi
De Valvert baritone Mario Bianchi
L'officer espagnol baritone Millo Marucci
Christian tenor Alessio De Paolis
Ragueneau bass-baritone Emilio Ghirardini
Le Bret bass-baritone Ernesto Dominici
Lignière baritone Saturno Meletti


  • Opera d'Oro, a division of Allegro Corporation (OPD 1411): William Johns, Olivia Stapp, Ezio di Cesare; Maurizio Arena, conductor; recorded in Turin 1975
  • CPO 5210620: Manuela Uhl, Jennifer Arnold, Susanna Bernhard, Roman Sadnik, Wolfgang Newerla, Simon Pauly, Paul McNamara, Matthias Klein, Bernd Gebhardt, Konstantin Heintel; Chorus of Kiel Opera; Kiel Philharmonic Orchestra; Markus Frank, conductor (2002)
  • Deutsche Grammophon 4688259 (DVD): Roberto Alagna, Nathalie Manfrino, Richard Troxell, Nicolas Rivenq Marc Barrard, Jaël Azzaretti; Orchestre National de Montpellier; Marco Guidarini, conductor (2003)
  • Live broadcast from the Met (not commercially released): Radvanovsky/Barasorda/Very/Michaels-Moore/de Candia; in New York; Armiliato, conductor (2006)
  • Naxos (DVD): Radvanovsky/Domingo/Chacón Cruz/Gilfry/Corrado Caruso; in Valencia; Fournillier, conductor (2007)



  1. ^ Sciannameo, Franco, "Turandot, Mussolini, and the Second String Quartet: Aspects of Alfano" (Winter 2002). The Musical Times, 143 (1881): pp. 27–41.
  2. ^ Gatti, Guido M. (1937). "Recent Italian Operas". The Musical Quarterly. XXIII (1): 77–88. doi:10.1093/mq/XXIII.1.77. Retrieved 15 September 2007.
  3. ^ "Metropolitan Opera Review 2016-17 – Cyrano de Bergerac: Alagna & Rowley Lead Production Filled With 'Panache'". 3 May 2017. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  4. ^ Broadcast on the Toll Brothers Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network, 2017 May 6.
  5. ^ ‘Cyrano’ Crash Course – How Jennifer Rowley Went From Covering Patricia Racette to Metropolitan Opera Role Debut in No Time
  6. ^ New York Classical Review » Blog Archive » Alagna and Rowley bring emotional depth to Met’s “Cyrano de Bergerac”