Donizetti: Linda di Chamounix

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3 disc set
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This is one of Donizetti’s finest achievements, aimed at the musically sophisticated Viennese public and featuring some of his best arias, ensembles and choruses.

Catalogue Number: ORC43 Categories: ,
  1. Linda di Chamounix : Sinfonia Donizetti, G. Buy Track 0:34
  2. Linda di Chamounix : Act I scena I: Presti al tempio! Donizetti, G. Buy Track 0:34
  3. Linda di Chamounix : Act I scena I: Ambo nati in questa valle Donizetti, G. Buy Track 0:34
  4. Linda di Chamounix : Act I scena II: Viva! Viva! Donizetti, G. Buy Track 0:34
  5. Linda di Chamounix : Act I scena II: Oh! gia in collera non sono Donizetti, G. Buy Track 0:34
  6. Linda di Chamounix : Act I scena III: Ah! tardai troppo Donizetti, G. Buy Track 0:34
  7. Linda di Chamounix : Act I scena III: Qui, si, pria della partenza Donizetti, G. Buy Track 0:34
  8. Linda di Chamounix : Act I scena IV: Non so: quella canzon mi intenerisce Donizetti, G. Buy Track 0:34
  9. Linda di Chamounix : Act I scena V: Qui, buon Antonio, qui soli Donizetti, G. Buy Track 0:34
  10. Linda di Chamounix : Act I scena V: Corro a dispor la moglie Donizetti, G. Buy Track 0:34
  11. Linda di Chamounix : Act I scena VII: O tu/Gran Dio che regoli gli umani eventi Donizetti, G. Buy Track 0:34
  12. Linda di Chamounix : Act II scena I: Gia scorsero tre mesi Donizetti, G. Buy Track 0:34
  13. Linda di Chamounix : Act II scena II: Come calma e conforta Donizetti, G. Buy Track 0:34
  14. Linda di Chamounix : Act II scena V: Linda! ? Si ritiro. Donizetti, G. Buy Track 0:34
  15. Linda di Chamounix : Act II scena V: Carlo! Il mio cor con un repente battito Donizetti, G. Buy Track 0:34
  16. Linda di Chamounix : Act II scena VI: Per quanto io penero Donizetti, G. Buy Track 0:34
  17. Linda di Chamounix : Act II scena VIII: Carlo ? Donizetti, G. Buy Track 0:34
  18. Linda di Chamounix : Act III scena I: Viva! Viva! Donizetti, G. Buy Track 0:34
  19. Linda di Chamounix : Act III scena I: Facciamo allegri un brindisi Donizetti, G. Buy Track 0:34
  20. Linda di Chamounix : Act III scena II: Tutta la valle e in giubilo Donizetti, G. Buy Track 0:34
  21. Linda di Chamounix : Act III scena III: Eccoci ancora qui Donizetti, G. Buy Track 0:34
  22. Linda di Chamounix : Act III scena IV: Ed ecco in qual maniera Donizetti, G. Buy Track 0:34
  23. Linda di Chamounix : Act III Final scena: E la voce Donizetti, G. Buy Track 0:34
  24. Linda di Chamounix : Act III Final scena: Compi, o ciel la nostra speme Donizetti, G. Buy Track 0:34


One of the biggest successes of Donizetti’s career, Linda di Chamounix was performed all over the operatic world in the decades following its 1842 Viennese premiere, then fell into neglect; the live concert performances recorded by Opera Rara at Covent Garden, in 2009, were its first there since 1887.

This is one of Donizetti’s finest achievements, aimed at the musically sophisticated Viennese public and featuring some of his best arias, ensembles and choruses, including the brilliant soprano showpiece ‘O luce di quest’anima’; in this semi-seria opera this much-admired aria is sung by Linda (Eglise Gutiérrez), who has fallen in love with Carlo (Stephen Costello – a recent Richard Tucker Award winner) believing him to be a painter, though he is in reality a nobleman. Packed off to Paris to stop her falling into the clutches of his uncle, the dubious Marchese de Boisfleury (Alessandro Corbelli), Linda is discovered in compromising circumstances by her father Antonio (Ludovic Tézier), who curses her, causing her to lose her reason. Supported by the loyal Pierotto (Marianna Pizzolato), Linda returns to Chamounix and sanity and, eventually, to the arms of the man she loves. Sir Mark Elder conducts the recent critical edition of this outstanding score.

Booklet includes complete libretto with English translation.


Eglise Gutiérrez (Linda), Ludovic Tézier (Antonio Loustolot), Elizabeth Sikora (Maddalena Loustolot), Alessandro Corbelli (Il Marchese di Boisfleury), Stephen Costello (Isconte di Sirval), Marianna Pizzolato (Pierotto), Bálint Szabó (Il Prefetto), Luciano Botelho (L’Intendente), Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Sir Mark Elder – conductor



‘The Departure from Chamounix’

The interior of a farmhouse in Chamounix, in the mountains of Haute-Savoie in France. It is dawn, and the voices of local peasants are heard as they make their way to church to pray that their children and young folk, about to set off on their annual journey to Paris to earn money, may meet with success.

Antonio, a tenant farmer, returns home to tell his wife, Maddalena, that the threat of expulsion from their farm that has been hanging over them as the result of their inability to pay their rent, may be averted through the intercession of the Marchese di Boisfleury, the brother of their landlady, the Marchesa di Sirval. The Marchese in fact enters, accompanied by a band of applauding villagers. We soon discover, however, that, far from being the generously-inclined fellow he claims to be, he is really an elderly roué who has his eye upon Linda, Antonio and Maddalena’s daughter. He enquires where she is, and Maddalena, who suspects nothing of his predatory intentions, goes to fetch her – only to return to say that she is not in her room. Antonio suggests that she must have slipped out to church. The Marchese, although irritated to find himself thus thwarted, continues to promise his patronage, and takes his leave, escorted by Antonio, Maddalena and all the villagers.

Linda enters. She has, we discover, been not to church but to keep a tryst with Carlo, an apparently penniless young painter who has come to the district and with whom she has fallen in love. He, for his part, was unable to keep the appointment, but left her a posy of flowers.

The band of young people arrives to share their last meal with Linda before they set off on their journey. They are led by Pierrotto who, accompanying himself on his hurdy-gurdy, sings a sad farewell to Chamounix and then a ballad, ‘Per sua madre’, which parallels the action of much of the opera (and later, in Act II, acts as a warning to Linda when she hears him singing it outside her window in Paris).

All the children leave to complete their preparations for departure. Linda is no sooner alone than she is joined by Carlo. They exchange vows of love, although both are troubled, Carlo by the fact that he has a secret he cannot reveal to her, and Linda because, since she met him, she too has a secret – one which she cannot share with her much–loved and trusted mother.

While Linda accompanies Carlo on his way, Antonio enters in conversation with the Prefetto or Rettore (the Prefect or Rector) of the village. The Prefetto has come to warn him of the Marchese’s hypocrisy and evil intentions towards Linda. The only way of protecting her, he urges, is by sending her away – by sending her to Paris in company with the departing contingent of youngsters. Antonio reluctantly agrees and goes to break the news to his wife, while the Prefetto encounters Linda as she enters joyfully with the renewal of the farm lease in her hand. He quickly disillusions her.

All the children and their parents gather to bid each other farewell. The Prefetto entrusts Linda to Pierrotto’s care and then leads the entire company in a final prayer for the success of the expedition. The Act ends as all the young people set out on their journey.


An elegant apartment in Paris, three months later. Linda, dressed in the height of Parisian fashion, reflects that it is three months since she had word from her family, even though, following her first arrival, she had sent them her earnings as a street-singer. Her thoughts are interrupted when she hears a voice from the street below singing to the accompaniment of a hurdy-gurdy, and realises that it is Pierrotto. She calls to him to come up.

Pierrotto does not at first recognise her, but they are soon rejoicing to have found each other again, and exchanging news of all that has transpired since they last saw each other. He had sought her at the home of the Prefect’s brother, where he had originally left her, but it was only to find that her host had died and that she had disappeared. He himself had fallen ill, a victim of the severe Parisian winter, and had been reduced to beggary. He is amazed when Linda presents him with a purse of money, but she explains that Carlo, the painter they had known in Chamounix, had followed her to Paris and had befriended her. All the luxury that surrounds her is thanks to him, for he is not the penniless artist they had thought him, but the Visconte di Sirval, the son of their landlady, the Marchesa. They are soon, she hopes, to be married. Pierrotto asks if this impending marriage is known to the Marchese di Boisfleury, whom he had seen standing in the street below at the very moment when Linda appeared at the window. Linda replies in the negative: at present she and Carlo are keeping their plans secret. Pierrotto rejoices with her at her changed prospects, and before leaving promises to remain in touch.

Linda is concerned to think that the Marchese may have seen her at the window, and is about to instruct the servants to deny him admission when he actually appears at the door. He addresses her with a mock gallantry which ill conceals his immoral intentions, and becomes ever more insulting as she seeks to dismiss him. She is apprehensive lest Carlo should find him there, and declares that she has a lover who will certainly come to her defence. Though the Marchese continues to load her with ironic insults and sarcasms, he decides that a strategic withdrawal may be his best course.

Alone, a discomforted Linda retreats to the safety of her bedroom. No sooner has she done so than a secret door opens and Carlo appears in full military uniform. He reveals that his mother, who has discovered his passion, is forcing him into a loveless marriage and has obtained a royal order which, if executed, will see Linda arrested and cast into prison as a common prostitute and seductress. His self-recriminations and lamentations at this turn of events are cut short when Linda reappears. They reaffirm their love for each other, with Linda feebly resisting surrendering to his embraces. She is about to capitulate when the voice of Pierrotto is heard, singing his ballad of warning from the street. Reluctantly, Carlo takes his leave.

A further trial awaits Linda. Yet another visitor appears, and to her horror she recognises her own father who, still threatened with expulsion from his farm, has come to Paris to plead with the Visconte to intercede on his behalf. At first the recognition is one-sided, for it never crosses Antonio’s mind that the fine lady he sees before him is his own daughter. Understandably he assumes that he is talking to the Visconte’s wife. Overcome with emotion she gives him a purse of money, and, as he steps forward to kiss her hand, she cannot resist confessing who she is. Aghast, Antonio concludes that she has become Carlo’s mistress.

Pierrotto returns, announcing that he has just witnessed preparations for a marriage in a nearby hôtel, and has been informed that the bridegroom is the Visconte di Sirval. Antonio, more convinced of his daughter’s shame than ever, solemnly curses her and departs.

It soon becomes apparent that her father’s curse has been too much for Linda’s sanity. As she and Pierrotto hear sounds of rejoicing and Carlo passes outside on his way to his wedding, she imagines that it is her own wedding that is being celebrated. The Act ends as, increasingly distraught, she falls in a faint.


‘The Return’

A square in the village of Chamounix. There are mountains in the background, with practicable pathways leading down into the village. The returning Savoyard children greet their friends and relatives, and relate their varying fortunes in earning money. But as yet there is no sign of Linda and Pierrotto.

When all have dispersed to their homes, Carlo appears. He tells the Prefect that he broke off his intended marriage at the foot of the altar – that his mother has at last yielded to his prayers – and that he has come back to Chamounix in the hopes of putting all to rights. The Prefect urges him to place his hope in God.

The Marchese also puts in an appearance, telling the villagers how he and Carlo returned from Paris in all haste. There are, he announces, to be festivities, for Carlo is to be married. As yet, however, he does not name the bride…

When all have departed, Pierrotto appears on the heights above the village, followed by a demented Linda. When he plays his hurdy-gurdy, she follows; when he stops, so does she. As they painfully descend into the square, they encounter the Prefect, shocked to see the state that Linda is in. He goes to prepare Antonio and Maddalena for their approaching ordeal, while Pierrotto leads Linda into the house.

Carlo returns with a document granting Antonio and Maddalena ownership of the property they have hitherto rented. Though initially overjoyed to hear of Linda’s return, he is dismayed to learn that she recognises nobody and is completely out of her mind.

At this moment she emerges from the house, as always following the sound of Pierrotto’s hurdy-gurdy. Carlo throws himself at her feet, but initially to no purpose. If he were really Carlo, she insists, he would repeat his earlier vows to her. This is the cue for him to sing once more the love-duet they sang together in Act I. Miraculously Linda recovers. She recognises her parents, then Carlo and all the villagers; she even greets the Marchese as her future uncle.

The opera ends as all group themselves in appropriate attitudes of rejoicing.