Sillabary

DONIZETTI FROM A TO Z

donizetti_sillabario

The twenty-one short films that make up the syllabary, or spelling book, Donizetti from A to Z, have been created as part of the project “Bergamo, Terra di Donizetti” (Bergamo, Land of Donizetti), winner in 2016 of public funding by the Lombardy Region.

Regularly aired on the television channel Classica HD, each episode has english subtitles and is dedicated to a letter of the alphabet telling the life, career and passions of Gaetano Donizetti. From A is for Accademia Carrara, where the young Donizetti studied painting, to B is for Borgo Canale, the street where he was born, D is for Divas, and I is for Italy, Donizetti from A to Z accompanies us on a journey of discovery of the places and characters in the life of the Great Maestro. Each episode features the intervention of a different expert, among which Francesco Micheli, theatre director and artistic director of the Donizetti Festival.

WATCH THE EPISODES

O: OPERA

Syllabary
with Jacopo Ghilardotti
It is difficult to say with certainty the actual number of operas that Donizetti wrote. Also because he went over them again and again, readjusting them and dismembering parts, changing their language and librettos, cutting and pasting. In...

P: PASCIÀ

Syllabary
with Francesco Micheli
Giuseppe Donizetti, Gaetano’s elder brother, lived for 28 years at the Imperial Ottoman Court of Sultan Mahmud II, overseeing the musical education of the Sultan, his orchestras, and an entire generation of Turkish composers. Gaetano was...

Q: QUIZ

Syllabary
with Francesco Micheli
How many unanswered questions are there about Donizetti? What happened to his skull? Is it true that the first swear word in the history of opera came from one of his works? Who was Anna Balena ("whale")? Does Donizetti’s cake have...

R: ROMANTICISMO

Syllabary
with Francesco Micheli
“Little love is there. I want affections and not battles on stage. I want love, violent love, without which these subjects are cold” - Gaetano...

S: SALOTTO

Syllabary
There is a large repertoire of chamber music by Donizetti, and, coincidently, the salon was the cornerstone of social life in the nineteenth century. Music was made in salons, and composed for salons, and Donizetti sang in them...

T: TENORI

Syllabary
with Juan Diego Florez
“Ah, mes amis, quel jour de fête!” goes an air of Donizetti’s ‘Fille du Régiment’, which is a test bench for the vocal athletic tenure of tenors, including, not by chance, Maestro Luciano Pavarotti. And when they ask for an...

U: UK

Syllabary
with Francesco Micheli
As many as nine operas in Donizetti’s catalogue are set among the British Isles. Three of which have Queen Elizabeth I as protagonist. Two derive from the works of Lord Byron. One, Lucia di Lammermoor, from a historical novel by Walter...

V: VENICE

Syllabary
with Paolo Cascio
As evidenced by the lions of San Marco that have stood the test of time on the walls of Bergamo, the city was the last western offshoot of the Venetian Republic. And it was in Venice that Donizetti made his debut in 1818, at the age of 21,...

Z: ZERO-TO-51

Syllabary
with Jacopo Ghilardotti
Donizetti’s life was full of misfortunes; his three daughters died in swaddling clothes, and his wife was killed by cholera. After a stay in a mental asylum, and three years of severe illness, he returned to Bergamo in 1848 and died the...