Belisario at Theater an der Wien

A new production of the Theater an der Wien. Premiere on 16 February 2021: Belisario of Gaetano Donizetti. “Tragedia lirica” in three acts. 1836.
Libretto by Salvadore Cammarano, after an adaptation of Eduard von Schenk’s Belisarius by Luigi Marchionni. First performance in Teatro La Fenice, Venice, February 4, 1836.

Premiere: 16 February 2021. Further performances on 18, 20, 23, 25 and 27 February 2021, 19.00 hrs. Introduction: Sunday 14 February 2021, 11.00 hrs. For information click HIER.

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Belisario: Roberto Frontali
Antonina, his spouse: Carmela Remigio
Irene, their daughter: Iryna Zhytynska
Alamiro: Paolo Fanale
Keizer Giustiniano: Stefan Cerny
Eutropio, army commander: Rainer Trost
Eudora, Irene’s friend: Valentina Petraeva
Eusebio/Ottario: Ivan Zinoviev

ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien
Arnold Schoenberg Chor

Conductor: Oksana Lyniv
Director: Nigel Lowery

General Belisario returns to Byzantium as victor. Emperor Giustiniano receives him with all due respect and lets him dispose of the prisoners he has made. Belisario releases everyone. One of them, the young Alamiro, shows a remarkable attachment to the general, and wants to stay with him.

Belisario: Sinfonia. BBC Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Mark Elder. ℗ 2013 Opera Rara.

At Belisario’s house it’s not all peace and quiet. Belisario had two children with his wife Antonina: a son, Alessi, and a daughter, Irene. When Alessi was very young, he disappeared one day, never to return. During her husband’s absence, Antonina found out that Belisario had had his own son killed, because in a dream it had been revealed to him that his son would one day turn against Byzantium. On second thought, the designated murderer had not carried out his task; he let Alessi go in secret.

Carmela Remigio, here in Anna Bolena, sings the role of Antonina in Donizetti’s Belisario. Programmed: Theater an der Wien, 2021.

Antonina wants revenge on her husband. She plots a plan with her lover Eutropio: through false letters Belisario is branded a traitor for the emperor. The plan succeeds: now no more honours for Belisario. Emperor Giustiniano punishes Belisario with blindness and banishes him. Daughter (Irene) cannot see it and sets herself up as her father’s support. In the mountains father and daughter encounter foreign troops, who want to take Byzantium.

Their leader is Alamiro. Although Belisario hasn’t been treated very well by Giustiniano, he continues to show solidarity with Byzantium and he persuades Alamiro to abandon his hostile intentions. A piece of jewellery shows that Alamiro is…. yes… Belisario’s lost son Alessi! The happiness of the reunited family, at least of father, son and daughter, is only short-lived: fights break out and Belisario is wounded. He is taken to the emperor at Byzantium. In the meantime Antonina has suffered from remorse and she confesses to Giustiniano her sabre-rattling and scheming. The emperor does not take half measures and condemns her to death. Her last wish is to be able to ask her husband’s forgiveness. The dying Belisario is brought in. Antonina kneels down beside him and begs for forgiveness, but Belisario dies before he can say a word. The emperor takes care of Irene and Alessi.


©Theater an der Wien


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Telmora Novakov


Telmora Novakov keeps up with the news for Opera Gazet. At the urgent request of the editor-in-chief, she has put the separation of facts and opinions completely behind her.

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