The concert version of the opera “Francesca da Rimini” arrives at the Auditorio de Tenerife

Alessandro Palumbo conducts the Symphony this Saturday in this story of the Italian noblewoman who inspired Dante for his Divine Comedy.


Auditorio de Tenerife presents the last lyrical title of the year: Francesca da Rimini, by Saverio Mercadante, in concert version. The show, which will feature the Tenerife Symphony, a choir and four soloists, will take place this Saturday, December 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the Sala Sinfónica. Ópera de Tenerife, a project of the Cabildo’s Culture Area, managed by the councilor Enrique Arriaga, says goodbye to the year with this story of the Italian noblewoman that inspired Dante Alighieri for his Divine Comedy.


Alessandro Palumbo will lead the Symphony in this concert, which will feature the voices of soprano Beatriz de Sousa as Francesca, mezzo-soprano Nozomi Kato as Paolo, tenor David Astorga as Lanciotto and bass Francesco Leone as Guido. The Opera de Tenerife choir will be directed by Carmen Cruz.


The premiere of Francesca da Rimini in Madrid, in 1830, was suspended days before its presentation in the Spanish capital, where it was included in the program of the Teatro Príncipe on the occasion of Carnival. The second premiere attempt, in 1832, at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, was also unsuccessful. Subsequently, the score was lost and it took 185 years for its full premiere, within the program of the 42nd Festival della Valle d’Itria, at the Palazzo Ducale de Martina Franca, with a critical edition by the musicologist Elisabetta Pasquini and the Ut Orpheus house.


Felice Romani’s libretto is based on the play by his contemporary Silvio Pellico with the same title, written in 1818. However, the origin of Francesca da Rimini as a character is in Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy. The Florentine poet immortalized her tragic secret love story for her brother-in-law, Paolo Malatesta. She had been married to the son of the Lord of Rimini and Paolo’s older brother, Giovanni Malatesta, known as Gianciotto (or Lanciotto), an expression that referred to her limp, the malformation with which she was born (Gianne lo sciancato or Gianne the crippled) .


The marriage had been conceived to satisfy the political interests of the young woman’s father, Lord of Ravenna, in order to achieve peace between the Malatesta and his own family, the Polenta. Surprised by Lanciotto after years of relationship, the pair of lovers was murdered by the offended husband. Dante placed Francesca and Paolo in the second circle of Hell, that of sinners out of lust, although he treated lovers with indulgence and compassion, showing them as symbols of love.


The beauty of Canto V of Dante’s Hell has inspired many works: literary, pictorial, even Rodin’s sculpture The Kiss, and also musical compositions by such prominent authors as Tchaikovsky, who dedicated a symphonic poem, and Rachmaninoff, Leoni and Zandonai, who also covered this story in different operas.


Tickets can be purchased up to fifteen minutes before the start of the show on the Tenerife Auditorium website and by phone at 902 317 327 and at the box office from Monday to Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The user will have to choose between one or two seats pre-set and distributed throughout the room previously. The public is kindly requested to arrive at the venue well in advance to make a staggered entrance to the room.


The purchase of the tickets implies the acceptance of the measures implemented by the Cabildo cultural center to deal with COVID-19, such as the correct use of the mask or assistance only with cohabitants. The complete measures, as well as the contingency plan certified by AENOR, can be consulted on the Auditorium’s website.