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Giuseppe Verdi

Giovanna D'Arco

Librettist: Temistocle Solera
Based on Die Jung frau von Orleans, a play by Friedrich Schiller

Cast of Characters

  • Charles VII, (tenor) King of France
  • Giacomo, (baritone) a shepherd in Dom-Rémy
  • Joan of Arc, (soprano) his daughter
  • Delil, (tenor) a French officer
  • Talbot, (bass) the English Commander
  • Officers of the King, villagers, townspeople, French and English Soldiers and nobles.

Setting

France in 1429

Premiere

15th February 1845; La Scala, Milan, Italy.

Plot

The opera opens to the French preparing to battle the invading English Army. Everyone believes Joan to be a partner of the Devil because of the voices only she can hear. Giacomo offers to deliver his daughter into the hands of the English thus ensuring their victory over the French. Later, the King expresses his love for Joan. Giacomo hurries to the Cathedral which is the scene of the victory celebration. Once there, he denounces Joan as being the devil s handmaiden. Joan makes little effort to defend herself and the crowd condemns her. She is handed over the English and awaits death at the stake. Giacomo visits her and becomes convinced of her redemption and loosens her bonds. She escapes with his blessing and rushes from the castle to turn the French defeat into victory. Joan is fatally wounded routing the English.

Memorable sections of music

The Overture
Sotto una quercia
O fatidica foresta

Act II Finale

Copyright © 1996, Stephen L. Parker.

Trumpet