Linda di Chamounix
Linda di Chamounix is an opera
Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...

tic melodramma
Melodramma is an Italian term for opera, used in a much narrower sense by English writers to discuss developments in the early 19th century Italian libretto...

in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti
Gaetano Donizetti
Domenico Gaetano Maria Donizetti was an Italian composer from Bergamo, Lombardy. His best-known works are the operas L'elisir d'amore , Lucia di Lammermoor , and Don Pasquale , all in Italian, and the French operas La favorite and La fille du régiment...

. The Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

A libretto is the text used in an extended musical work such as an opera, operetta, masque, oratorio, cantata, or musical. The term "libretto" is also sometimes used to refer to the text of major liturgical works, such as mass, requiem, and sacred cantata, or even the story line of a...

 was written by Gaetano Rossi
Gaetano Rossi
Gaetano Rossi was an Italian writer who wrote opera libretti for several composers including Mayr, Rossini, Donizetti, Mercadante, Pacini, and Meyerbeer.-Biography:...

. It premiered in Vienna, at the Kärntnertortheater
Theater am Kärntnertor
Theater am Kärntnertor or Kärntnertortheater was a prestigious theatre in Vienna during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries...

, on May 19, 1842.

Performance history

On March 1, 1934, Linda di Chamounix received its Metropolitan Opera
Metropolitan Opera
The Metropolitan Opera is an opera company, located in New York City. Originally founded in 1880, the company gave its first performance on October 22, 1883. The company is operated by the non-profit Metropolitan Opera Association, with Peter Gelb as general manager...

 premiere with Lily Pons
Lily Pons
Lily Pons was a French-American operatic soprano and actress who had an active career from the late 1920s through the early 1970s. As an opera singer she specialized in the coloratura soprano repertoire and was particularly associated with the title roles in Léo Delibes' Lakmé and Gaetano...

 in the title role. Through March 25, 1935, the Met presented the opera in seven more performances, all starring Pons. It has not been performed there since.


Role Voice type Premiere Cast, 19 May 1842
(Conductor: Gaetano Donizetti)
Linda soprano
A soprano is a voice type with a vocal range from approximately middle C to "high A" in choral music, or to "soprano C" or higher in operatic music. In four-part chorale style harmony, the soprano takes the highest part, which usually encompasses the melody...

Eugenia Tadolini
Eugenia Tadolini
Eugenia Tadolini was an Italian operatic soprano. Admired for the beauty of her voice and stage presence, she was one of Donizetti's favourite singers. During her career she created over 20 leading roles, including the title roles in Donizetti's Linda di Chamounix and Maria di Rohan and Verdi's...

Carlo, Vicomte de Sirval tenor
The tenor is a type of male singing voice and is the highest male voice within the modal register. The typical tenor voice lies between C3, the C one octave below middle C, to the A above middle C in choral music, and up to high C in solo work. The low extreme for tenors is roughly B2...

Napoleone Moriani
Pierotto, an orphan contralto
Contralto is the deepest female classical singing voice, with the lowest tessitura, falling between tenor and mezzo-soprano. It typically ranges between the F below middle C to the second G above middle C , although at the extremes some voices can reach the E below middle C or the second B above...

Marietta Brambilla
Antonio, Linda's father baritone
Baritone is a type of male singing voice that lies between the bass and tenor voices. It is the most common male voice. Originally from the Greek , meaning deep sounding, music for this voice is typically written in the range from the second F below middle C to the F above middle C Baritone (or...

Felice Varesi
Felice Varesi
Felice Varesi was a French-born Italian baritone with an illustrious singing career that began in the 1830s and extended into the 1860s...

Marquis de Boisfleury basso buffo (baritone in range) Agostino Rovere
Agostino Rovere
Agostino Rovere was an Italian operatic bass. After studying singing in Milan, he made his professional opera debut in 1826 at the opera house in Pavia. In 1828 he portrayed Clemente in the world premiere of Vincenzo Bellini's Bianca e Fernando at the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa...

Prefect basso profondo Prosper Dérivis
Prosper Dérivis
Nicolas-Prosper Dérivis was a French operatic bass. He possessed a rich deep voice that had a great carrying power. While he could easily assail heavy dramatic roles, he was also capable of executing difficult coloratura passages and performing more lyrical parts...

Maddalena, Linda's mother soprano Maddalena Nottes
Intendant tenor Michele Novaro
Savoyards of the 1760's, children

Act 1

The village square in Chamounix
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc or, more commonly, Chamonix is a commune in the Haute-Savoie département in the Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France. It was the site of the 1924 Winter Olympics, the first Winter Olympics...

, Savoy
Savoy is a region of France. It comprises roughly the territory of the Western Alps situated between Lake Geneva in the north and Monaco and the Mediterranean coast in the south....

, France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...


It is dawn, and the villagers are singing on their way to church, for this is the day the young men go to Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 for the winter, to earn money as street entertainers.

Maddalena Loustolot awaits the return of her husband Antonio from a visit to the Marchesa, who owns their farm. Antonio has been anxious that their lease
A lease is a contractual arrangement calling for the lessee to pay the lessor for use of an asset. A rental agreement is a lease in which the asset is tangible property...

 on the farm be renewed, and that the mortgage
Mortgage loan
A mortgage loan is a loan secured by real property through the use of a mortgage note which evidences the existence of the loan and the encumbrance of that realty through the granting of a mortgage which secures the loan...

 — held by the Marchesa — not be called in. Antonio arrives, relieved at having been assured that the Marchesa's brother, the Marchese (Marquis of Boisfleury) will speak on their behalf. The Marchese duly arrives, greeted enthusiastically by the villagers. He asks to see Linda, the Loustolot's beautiful daughter, but she is not there. Her parents assume that she has gone early to church.

The Marchese promises Antonio and Maddalena that he will renew- the lease and improve the buildings and farmland. There is, however, a hidden agenda: he has designs on Linda, who is the god-daughter of his sister the Marchesa, and he says that she must come to the castle, where "she may complete her education".

They leave, and Linda enters. She has not been to church, but rather to keep a rendezvous with her beloved Carlo, an impoverished artist; but she arrived too late and found only some flowers from him. Some girls arrive, followed by Pierotto, who sings his latest song while playing his hurdy-gurdy.

Pierotto's song is about a young girl who leaves home for a better life, but forgets her vows to her mother, falls in love, and then is betrayed. She returns home to find her mother dead, and spends the rest of her life weeping on her mother's grave.

Pierotto and the girls leave; then Carlo arrives, and meets Linda. They express their regret at missing each other earlier, and reaffirm their love. They leave, and the Prefect arrives to see Antonio. But instead of reassuring him of the Marchese's support, he warns Antonio that the Marchese has evil intentions towards his beloved daughter. The Prefect persuades Antonio that Linda must go to Paris with the men of the village, and stay there out of danger, with the Prefect's brother. The village gathers to say farewell to those who are leaving.

Act 2

Three months later in Paris

Linda has been followed by Carlo, who has revealed that he is not after all a penniless painter, but the young Viscount of Sirval, son of the Marchesa, and nephew of the Marchese. He has provided for her an apartment in a fashionable quarter, where she now lives until their marriage. Carlo visits her daily. Linda has sent money to her parents, but has not heard from them. She hears familiar music from the street below. It is Pierotto, whom she invites in, and who explains that on arrival in Paris he was taken ill and afterwards was unable to find Linda. He expresses surprise at the luxury of her accommodation, and Linda explains about Carlo, and that their relationship is respectable. Pierotto says that he has seen the Marchese in the street below. After he leaves, the Marchese arrives and tries to persuade Linda to come and live with him. Outraged, Linda orders him out of her house. Carlo arrives having heard the terrible news that his mother has discovered his relationship, and insists that he instead marry a young titled girl immediately. He cannot, however, bring himself to tell Linda, and instead reaffirms his love for her "whatever may happen" before departing again.

Now an old man comes to the door, asking for help. It is Antonio, and he does not recognise this grand young lady as his daughter. When Linda reveals her identity, he is devastated, believing her to be living a life of sin. She tries to reassure him, but when Pierotto comes back to tell Linda that he has discovered that Carlo is to be married to another that very day, Antonio flies into a rage and disowns his daughter. At the thought of her betrayal by Carlo, Linda collapses, losing her mind.

Act 3

Spring again in Chamounix

The villagers welcome the young men returning from Paris at winter's end. Carlo arrives and explains to the Prefect that his mother has relented and that he can after all marry Linda, whom he now seeks. The Prefect says that Linda was betrayed by a lover in Paris, has not returned, and cannot be found. Carlo is broken-hearted, telling the Prefect that he was her (entirely innocent) lover.

The Marchese arrives and tells the villagers that there is to be a wedding, and that all the villagers will be invited to the celebrations. "Just wait `till you see who the bride is!" he says, not knowing of Linda's illness.

Pierotto now arrives, with Linda; they have travelled the 600 miles from Paris, and are exhausted. Carlo sees her, and is distraught by her condition. She recognises nobody. But Pierotto sings to her, his song stirs her, and at last she seems to know her mother. Carlo sings to her of his undying love, and when he sings the words they shared when they first met, Linda's reason is restored. The whole village rejoices in anticipation of the wedding.


Year Cast
(Linda, Carlo, Antonio, Pierotto, Prefect, Marquis)
Opera House and Orchestra
1953 Margherita Carosio
Margherita Carosio
Margherita Carosio was an Italian operatic soprano. She was one of the most remarkable light lyric sopranos of her generation. Her warm, expressive and expertly produced voice is preserved in many Parlophone and Ultraphon recordings made before World War II, as well as a memorable series made for...

Gianni Raimondi
Gianni Raimondi
Gianni Raimondi was an Italian lyric tenor, particularly associated with the Italian repertory.Born in Bologna, Raimondi studied at the Music Conservatory of his native city with Antonio Melandri, and Gennaro Barra-Caracciolo and in Mantua with Ettore Campogalliani...

Giuseppe Taddei
Giuseppe Taddei
Giuseppe Taddei was an Italian baritone, who performed mostly the operas of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Giuseppe Verdi....

Rina Corsi,
Giuseppe Modesti
Giuseppe Modesti
Giuseppe Modesti was an Italian bass-baritone.Giuseppe Modesti made his operatic debut at La Scala in 1940, as Schelkalov in Boris Godunov...

Carlo Badioli
Alfredo Simonetto
RAI Milano Orchestra and Chorus
Audio CD: Walhall «Eternity Series»
Cat: WLCD 0128
1956 Antonietta Stella
Antonietta Stella
Antonietta Stella is an Italian operatic soprano, one of the finest Italian spinto sopranos of the 1950s and 1960s, possessing a beautiful and ample voice, and particularly associated with Verdi and Puccini roles.Stella studied at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, and made her...

Cesare Valletti
Cesare Valletti
Cesare Valletti was an Italian operatic tenor, one of the leading tenore di grazia of the postwar era. He was much admired for his polished vocal technique, his musical refinement and elegance, and beauty of tone....

Giuseppe Taddei
Giuseppe Taddei
Giuseppe Taddei was an Italian baritone, who performed mostly the operas of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Giuseppe Verdi....

Fedora Barbieri
Fedora Barbieri
Fedora Barbieri was an Italian mezzo-soprano.Barbieri was born in Trieste. She made her official debut in Florence in 1940, but retired in 1943 because of her marriage. She re-emerged in 1945. She was one of the first performers to investigate and perform in early operas by Monteverdi and Pergolesi...

Giuseppe Modesti
Giuseppe Modesti
Giuseppe Modesti was an Italian bass-baritone.Giuseppe Modesti made his operatic debut at La Scala in 1940, as Schelkalov in Boris Godunov...

Renato Capecchi
Renato Capecchi
Renato Capecchi was an Italian baritone, actor, and opera director.He sang in the Italian premiere of Shostakovich's The Nose and Prokofiev's War and Peace, and in the world premieres of Gian Francesco Malipiero's La donna è mobile, Giorgio Federico Ghedini's Billy Budd and Lord Inferno, and...

Tullio Serafin
Tullio Serafin
-Biography:Tullio Serafin was a leading Italian opera conductor with a long career and a very broad repertoire who revived many 19th century bel canto operas by Bellini, Rossini and Donizetti to become staples of 20th century repertoire...

Teatro San Carlo Orchestra and Chorus
Audio CD: Philips
Cat: 442 093-2
1972 Margherita Rinaldi
Margherita Rinaldi
Margherita Rinaldi is an Italian lyric soprano, primarily active in the 1960s and 1970s.Rinaldi was born in Turin, Italy, and completed her music studies in Rovigo. She won a voice competition in Spoleto and made her debut there in 1958 in the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor...

Alfredo Kraus
Alfredo Kraus
Alfredo Kraus Trujillo was a distinguished Spanish tenor of partly Austrian descent, particularly known for the artistry he brought to opera's bel canto roles...

Renato Bruson
Renato Bruson
Renato Bruson is an Italian operatic baritone. Bruson is widely considered one of the most important Verdi baritones of the late 20th and early 21st century. He was born in Granze near Padua, Italy.-Biography and career:...

Elena Zilio,
Carlo Cava,
Enzo Dara
Enzo Dara
Enzo Dara is an Italian basso buffo. Among his most famous roles were Don Bartolo in The Barber of Seville and the title character in Don Pasquale.-References:. The source given there was:...

Gianandrea Gavazzeni
Gianandrea Gavazzeni
Gianandrea Gavazzeni was an Italian pianist, conductor , composer and musicologist.Gavazzeni was born in Bergamo. For almost 50 years, starting from 1948, he was principal conductor at La Scala, Milan, in 1966-68 being its music and artistic director.He had his Metropolitan Opera debut on 11...

Teatro alla Scala Orchestra and Chorus
Audio CD: Opera d'Oro
Cat: OPD 1269
1991 Mariella Devia
Mariella Devia
Mariella Devia is an Italian soprano, well known for performing many roles in the bel canto repertoire.Born in Chiusavecchia, Devia trained at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome with Iolanda Magnoni...

Luca Canonici,
Petteri Salomaa,
Sonia Ganassi,
Donato di Stefano,
Stefano Antoniozzi
Gabriele Bellini
Orchestra of Eastern Netherlands and Netherlands State Opera Chorus
Audio CD: Arts
Cat: 47151-2
1993 Edita Gruberova
Edita Gruberová
Edita Gruberová , is a Slovak soprano who is one of the most acclaimed coloraturas of recent decades. She is noted for her great tonal clarity, agility, dramatic interpretation, and ability to sing high notes with great power, which made her an ideal Queen of the Night in her early years...

Dan Bernardino,
Ettore Kim,
Monika Groop,
Stefano Palatchi
Stefano Palatchi
Stefano Palatchi is a Spanish opera singer who has sung leading bass roles in both Spain and internationally where he is known for his stage skills, timbre and expressive singing...

Anders Melander
Friedrich Haider
Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Mikaeli Chamber Choir
Audio CD: Nightingale Classics
Cat: NC 070 561-2
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