Dramma per musica in two acts by Saverio Mercadante
In Italian with German and English surtitles
For the first time in Germany, Francesca da Rimini by Saverio Mercadante (1795-1870) - as a takeover of a production of the Tiroler Festspiele Erl - will be presented at Oper Frankfurt. After the Austrian premiere on December 28, 2022, the trade magazine concerti wrote: "The work and rendition of Mercadante's Moritat are simply sensational in Tyrol. This is due to the poetic power of Hans Walter Richter's staging (...). Richter's staging takes up the freneticism, exaltation and epic breadth of the musical numbers with poetic power." Felice Romani wrote the libretto for the stage work, which was completed in 1831 and refers to Dante's Divine Comedy. The poet's libretti formed the basis of 17 of Mercadante's 58 operas. However, the first performance of the work by the Italian composer, who was in demand at the time, took place 185 years after it was written: in 2016 at the Festival della Valle d'Itria in Martina Franca.
For political reasons, Francesca and Lanciotto were married, but Francesca loves her brother-in-law Paolo, who reciprocates her feelings. When Lanciotto returns victorious from the war, he discovers Francesca and Paolo growing closer over the reading of a book. He threatens them with death. Francesca's father Guido, however, is able to thwart Lanciotto's plans for revenge, whereupon Francesca retreats to a convent. When she meets Paolo for a last goodbye, Lanciotto discovers them again and turns his gun on the rival. Now realizes what had pursued Lanciotto so mercilessly in his rage....