Afternoon at the Opera


William Shakespeare 1609

William Shakespeare 1609 By Unknown - The Washington Times, Public Domain,

Amleto is an opera in four acts by Franco Faccio set to a libretto by Arrigo Boito, based on Shakespeare's play Hamlet. It premiered on 30 May 1865 at the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa and was revised for a La Scala production given on 12 February 1871.

The collaboration and friendship between librettist and composer was to last throughout Faccio's lifetime. In addition (as musicologist William Ashbrook states): "Amleto marks an effort of two prominent members of the Scapigliatura (a late Romantic reform movement in northern Italy in the 1860s and 70s) to renew the tradition of Italian opera."[1]

After the La Scala revival in 1871, the opera disappeared for almost 130 years. However, in recent years, copies of the score and libretto have reappeared and conductor Anthony Barrese created a critical edition which was presented in a fully staged version by Opera Southwest in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and by Baltimore Concert Opera in concert form in Baltimore, Maryland, in October 2014.