Opera Scotland

Linda di Chamounix Linda of Chamounix

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Gaetano Donizetti (born Bergamo, 29 November 1797; died Bergamo, 8 April 1848).


Gaetano Rossi (1774-1855).


Play La grâce de Dieu (1841) by Adolphe d'Ennery and Gustave Lemoine.



First Performance: Vienna (Kârntnertortheater), 19 May 1842.

First Performance (revision): Paris (Théâtre-Italien), 17 November 1842.

First Performance in UK: London (Her Majesty's Theatre), 1 June 1843.

First Performance in Scotland: tbc.



Late Donizetti, from the period after he left Italy, has until recently been vastly under-rated, and Linda, an enormous success in its day, was largely remembered by reason of Linda's opening aria, understandably a favourite with suitably talented sopranos. Like Bellini's Puritani and Sonnambula, the opera is unusual in having both a heroine who goes mad and a happy ending. Recent recordings and performances indicate that its high quality is at last being recognized.


Main Characters

Linda (soprano)

Antonio, her father (baritone)

Carlo (tenor)

Marquis de Boisfleury (baritone)

Prefect (bass)

Pierotto, Linda's friend (mezzo-soprano)


Plot Summary

In mid-18th century Savoy, Antonio, a tenant farmer, is in financial difficulties, and the Marquis, whose sister is his landlord, has offered help with negotiations. The Marquis's motive, however, is that he lusts after Antonio's daughter Linda. The girl is in love with Carlo, a penniless artist, not knowing that he is himself titled, and that his mother is that same landlord. The village prefect hears of the Marquis's dishonourable intentions towards Linda, and suggests to Antonio that she should join the locals who head off every year for seasonal work in France. Her childhood friend, Pierotto, will be in the party.

On arrival in Paris, Linda is found by Carlo, who explains his true identity, and installs her in a luxurious apartment, while he tries to persuade his mother to allow the marriage. Her father arrives, assumes she must be Carlo's mistress, and curses her. Pierotto then brings news that Carlo is engaged to a more suitable spouse. Linda goes mad.

Pierotto brings Linda safely back home to the village. Carlo, having avoided the marriage plot, restores her sanity by singing their old song to her, and they are permitted to marry.

The Cast

 a tenant farmer
 Vicomte de Sirval, disguised as an artist
 Antonio's daughter
Marquis de Boisfleury
 Carlo's uncle
 a youth, and friend of Linda
 of Chamounix

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