Pietro il Grande

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Rinaldo Alessandrini

Pietro il Grande Kzar delle Russie


An opera buffa in two acts with libretto by Gherardo Bevilacqua-Aldobrandini

Music by Gaetano Donizetti

First performance: Teatro San Samuele, Venice, 26 December 1819
Critical edition by Maria Chiara Bertieri / Fondazione Donizetti



Download the programme


Less than a year after his debut as a composer of opera, the 22-year-old Donizetti was once again commissioned by a Venice theatre (San Samuele) to produce a comedy to be performed during the 1820 carnival season. The author of the libretto was a nobleman from Ferrara with a passion for art and theatre, the Marquis Gherardo Bevilacqua Aldobrandini.

Scriptwriter, occasional librettist (he wrote the libretto for Adina for his friend Rossini in 1818) and later designer of classical monuments, Bevilacqua created the new text from an 1816 Italian translation of an 1805 comedy by Duval (Le Menuisier de Livonie) and a recent libretto written by Felice Romani for the composer Giovanni Pacini (Il Falegname di Livonia, presented at La Scala in Milan in April 1819).

The opera relates an anecdote from the life and travels of Tzar Peter the Great. Having arrived incognito at an inn in a Baltic region, the Tzar witnesses the arrogance and injustice perpetrated by a local magistrate on an honest carpenter.

In the end he not only rights the wrong by punishing the shameless magistrate and reasserting the principle that the law must treat everyone equally, but also realises that the humble carpenter is the lost brother of his wife.

The young Donizetti took this libretto and constructed a remarkable composition. Clear references to Rossini’s work can be recognised, but there are plenty of passages that display a decidedly personal style.

The modern version of this work is therefore interesting for several reasons: the scenic effectiveness and the wonderful music, the type of theatre it embodies (comedy based on historical figures), the new light cast on Donizetti’s early work, his interpretation of the prevailing Rossini patterns and the foreshadowing of a developing individual style.



Ridotto del Teatro Sociale, Saturday 23rd of November – 6.30 pm
Paolo Fabbri talks with Maria Chiara Bertieri about the opera Piero il Grande

November - 2019


Time and Date:
15 November 2019H 20:30
23 November 2019 H 20:30
1 December 2019 H 15:30
Cost: €28 - €85


Teatro Sociale

Via Bartolomeo Colleoni, 4
Bergamo, BG 24129 Italia


Conductor Rinaldo Alessandrini
Direction, machines and scenery by Ondadurto Teatro - Marco Paciotti e Lorenzo Pasquali
Costumes K.B. Project
Lighting design Marco Alba 

Orchestra Gli originali
Coro Donizetti Opera
Choirmaster Fabio Tartari

Pietro il Grande Roberto De Candia
Caterina Loriana Castellano
Madama Fritz Paola Gardina
Annetta Mazepa Nina Solodovnikova
Carlo Scavronski Francisco Brito
Ser Cuccupis Marco Filippo Romano
Hondedisky Marcello Nardis
Firman Trombest Tommaso Barea

New production and set-up by Fondazione Teatro Donizetti of Bergamo




*the prices do not include selling fees, amounting to 10% of the ticket price.