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Giuseppe Verdi

I Lombardi alla Prima Crociata

Librettist: Temistocle Solera
Based on a long verse-epic in 15 cantos by Tommasa Grossi

Cast of Characters

  • Arvino, (tenor) Son of Folco
  • Pagano, (bass) Son of Folco
  • Viclinda, (soprano) Wife of Arvino
  • Giselda, (soprano) her daughter
  • Pirro, (bass) Pagano's henchman
  • Prior of the city of Milan, (Tenor
  • Acciano, (bass) tyrant of Antioch
  • Oronte, (tenor) son of Acciano
  • Sofia, (soprano) Wife of Acciano
  • Priests, people of Milan, Retainers of Folco, Muslims, Crusaders, knights and soldiers, Pilgrims and Lombard ladies.


Milan, Antioch and the country near Jerusalem in 1099 A. D.


11th February 1843; La Scala, Milan.


Arvino and Pagano have been reconciled after the latters attempted murder of the former. They were both suitors for the hand of the beautiful Viclinda. Pagano was rejected. Arvino has been appointed leader of the Lombard contingent which is going to the Holy Land on a crusade for the deliverance of Jersualem. Later that evening, Pagano enters Arvino's room and stabs him. Pagano is taken aback when Arvino appears and discovers it was his father he has slain. Dismayed, Arvino withdraws to live in exile. The Lombards go to the Holy Land and Arvino's daughter Giselda is captured and placed in a harem by the infidels. The infidel's leader's wife, Sofia, is a secret convert to Christianity. Her son Oronte, is in love with Giselda and also converts to Christianity. Giselda and Oronte fall in love and are repulsed by Arvino. Oronte is wounded fatally in battle with the Crusaders. A hermit, who turns out to be Pagano, befriends the Crusaders and leads them against the infidels to defeat them and free Giselda.

Memorable sections of music

Salve Maria
La mia letizia infondere

Third Act Trio
Trio: Qual volutttà
In cielo benedetto
O Signore, dal tetto natio

Additional Information

  • Performance History
  • Synopsis
  • Arias
  • Libretto
  • Discography

Copyright © 1996, Stephen L. Parker.