Opera Scotland

Otto Nicolai Suggest updates

Carl Otto Ehrenfried Nicolai.

Born Königsberg, 9 June 1810.

Died Berlin, 11 May 1849.

German composer.

Otto Nicolai is one of many composers remembered for one work, and especially its delightful overture. The Merry Wives is a far better piece than the scarcity of performances would suggest. The universal success of Verdi's Falstaff, a miraculous work of genius using the same source material, has driven out a work that is good by any other measure.  He trained in Rome, and after a few months working in Vienna returned to Italy, where most of his operas were composed in a short period. Since they are never performed, we cannot, at this stage, tell how they compare with other Italian works by Donizetti and his contemporaries. He returned north as a working musician, first as Hofkapellmeister in Vienna before becoming director of the Opera in Berlin. This seems to have left little opportunity for his own composition.

Operas performed in Scotland are shown in bold:

Rosamonda d'Inghilterra (as 'Enrico IV' Trieste 1839) ()

Il templario (Turin 1840) (Marini)

Gildippe ed Odoardo (1841) ()

Il proscritto (Milan 1841) (Rossi)

Die Heimkehr des Verbannten (1844) ()

Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor (Berlin 1849) (Mosenthal)

Roles in Scotland

Merry Wives of Windsor

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