Le tribut de Zamora

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Le tribut de Zamora
Opera by Charles Gounod
Charles Gounod (1890) by Nadar.jpg
The composer in 1890
Librettist Adolphe d'Ennery
Premiere 1 April 1881 (1881-04-01)
Palais Garnier, Paris

Le tribut de Zamora is an opera in four acts by Charles Gounod, his last work for the stage. The libretto by Adolphe d'Ennery was offered to Gounod after negotiations with Giuseppe Verdi stalled, and involves a young couple on their wedding day, a forced tribute of twenty virgins, a slave auction at which the would-be groom is outbid, a madwoman who turns out to be the heroine's mother and regains her reason on murdering a tyrant, and a magnanamous second-in-command.

The premiere at the Opéra's Palais Garnier on 1 April 1881 was a success, Hermosa's patriotic "Debout! enfants de l'Ibérie!" (sung by Gabrielle Krauss) being enthusiastically encored, and praise being showered on the magnificent costumes by Eugène Lacoste and the four settings designed by Auguste-Alfred Rubé and Philippe Chaperon (Acts I and IV), Jean-Baptiste Lavastre (Act II), and Antoine Lavastre and Eugène Louis Carpezat (Act III).

Recent criticism is less kind, calling it "musty...too reminiscent of his earlier work"[1] or dismissing it as an exercise in spagnuolismo.[2]


Role Voice type Creators
Xaïma soprano Daram
Hermosa, her mother soprano Gabrielle Krauss
Iglésia, her friend soprano Janvier
Manoël, her fiancé ténor Sellier
Ben-Saïd, envoy of the caliph of Cordoba baryton Lassalle
Hadjar, his brother basse Léon Melchissédec
Le roi, king of tenth-century Asturias basse Giraudet


  1. ^ Harding 1973 p. 202
  2. ^ Huebner 1990 p. 218
  • James Harding, Gounod (London: Allen and Unwin, 1973)
  • Steven Huebner, The Operas of Charles Gounod (Oxford: Clarendon, 1990).

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