Columbus Day Verismo

To commemorate today’s 520th anniversary of Columbus’ rediscovery of the Americas, here’s an opera written to commemorate the 400th anniversary!

Alberto Franchetti wrote Cristoforo Colombo in 1892 and though I’d never heard of him he was a big deal in his day, hailed as the Italian Meyerbeer for combining the characteristics of  Italian Verismo and French Grand Opera traditions.  This chiefly choral piece, Ove ne Spinge il Vento? (Where does the Wind take us?) is quite striking, no?

Man, with all the Chirstopher Columbus operatic adaptations I’ve discovered researching this post, I gotta ask: where are the operatic Columbus Day celebrations?!?!

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5 thoughts on “Columbus Day Verismo

    • HMMM! An excellent question… I think this merits a dedicated post, but I’ll tell you the three I was able to think of…
      Let’s start with the only pre-contact one, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s 1898-1900 trilogy of cantatas, The Song of Hiawatha. Then, Jean-Phillipe Rameau’s 1735 Les Indes Galantes, which is actually 4 acts each in a different non-European setting (North America & Peru, but also Turkey & Iran). More recently, Linda Tutas Haugen was commissioned in 2007 to write Pocahontas for the 400th anniversary of the settlement of Jamestown, VA.
      So yes, thanks for this inspiring challenge! Hope you enjoy the results, and stay tuned for the post-version : )

      • cool, i’m excited. i was thinking of the coleridge-taylor hiawatha and didn’t know about the rest. though les indes galantes sounds familiar.

  1. Pingback: Baroque Representations of Native Americans History Month | Bizarro Twins

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