Opera Scotland

Prigioniero Il prigoniero; The Prisoner

Tours by decade

1960s - 1 tour

1969 - Teatro Comunale, Florence
Fully Staged with Orchestra

Tours by location


Luigi Dallapiccola


The composer


Mainly the story La Torture par l' espérance (1888) by Philippe Auguste Villiers de l' Isle Adam



First Performance: Turin (Italian Broadcast on RAI), 1 December 1949.

First Stage Performance: Florence (Teatro Comunale), 20 May 1950.

First Performance in UK: London (Sadler's Wells Theatre), 27 July 1959.

First Performance in Scotland: Edinburgh (King's Theatre) 29 August 1969.

Scottish Opera premiere: N/A.



Il prigioniero must rank as one of the most successful Italian opoeras in the post-war period. It is a harrowing work of around fifty minutes duration. The subject is the psychological torture of a prisoner at the hands of the Inquisition in sixteenth century Spain. He is treated with apparent sympathy by his Gaoler, who eventually leaves his cell door open. But it is all a trick.

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