Let’s discover Eduardo e Cristina

In the autumn of 1818, Gioachino Rossini signed a contract with Giuseppe Cortesi to write an opera seria in two acts for the Teatro San Benedetto in Venice by 30 March 1819. However, the period between the autumn of 1818 and the following spring saw him busy on several fronts. Within a few months he completed Ricciardo e Zoraide (first performance: 3 December 1818), the new version of the third act of Mosè in Egitto (first performance: 7 March 1819) and Ermione (first performance: 27 March 1819).

In the midst of this “creative furore”, the new opera for Venice seemed to have no place, but it was during this period that the preliminary project was drawn up: the subject was chosen and it was decided to have the pre-existing libretto, entitled Odoardo e Cristina by Giovanni Schmidt, written in 1810 for Stefano Pavesi, reworked ad hoc.

In short, Eduardo e Cristina was born, an opera that, from its premiere on 24 April 1819, despite the fact that it made extensive use of the technique of self-borrowing and used at least some of the music composed for other operas, was welcomed by the public of the time and Lord Byron himself, who attended one of the first performances in 1819, tells of a resounding success that makes the total absence of revivals in modern times seem inexplicable.

Since 1840, Eduardo e Cristina has only been performed twice by the Deutsche Rossini Gesellschaft in collaboration with the festival Rossini in Wilbad – the first on stage in 1997, the second in concert in 2017 – in a revision based on the musical material by Anders Wiklund. The Rossini Opera Festival 2023 will thus present the first Italian revival in modern times, offering a performance of the critical edition of the opera by Andrea Malnati and Alice Tavilla that will soon be published by the Fondazione Rossini in Pesaro.

Published in : 27 July 2023