A little-known early work of Giuseppe Verdi, Ernani is a tragic love story concerning a man's quest to be with his beloved despite the advances and influence of more powerful men. As always, Verdi captures the characters' powerful emotions with a beautiful score. Order your tickets today and seize the opportunity to catch this seldom-seen gem.
About the Show:
Ernani is a four-act opera by Giuseppe Verdi with a libretto written by his frequent writing partner, Francesco Maria Piave. The story is based on Victor Hugo's play, Hernani. It made its world premiere on March 9, 1844 at La Fenice in Venice, Italy. Its UK premiere was on March 8, 1845 (at Her Majesty's Theatre in London) and its US premiere was on April 13, 1847.
One of Verdi's earliest works and one of opera's more obscure and seldom-performed pieces, Ernani still made it into the repertoire of New York's Metropolitan Opera by 1903 and has been presented there dozens of times since. Notably, in 1904, it became the first opera ever to be recorded in full. Though it regained some popularity in the 1980s, Ernani remains an elusive piece, so get your Ernani tickets right away to see this rarely performed opera in all its glory.
Act I: It is the year 1519. In the mountains of Aragon, Ernani is in a deep depression because Elvira, the woman he loves, is being forced to marry her uncle, the old Gomez de Silva. His fellow bandits, wishing to cheer him up, agree to help him rescue her.
In her chambers, Elvira is preoccupied with her impending marriage. As servant bring in Gomez's wedding presents, she contemplates her love for Ernani. Disguised as a commoner, King Carlos enters and tries to force himself on Elvira. As she reaches for a dagger for protection, Ernani bursts in and stops the lusty king. When Carlos recognizes Ernani as the leader gang of bandits, he replies that Carlos stole his land and forced him into a life of crime. Silva enters and also recognizes Ernani. As Ernani challenges the two men to fight, Riccardo enters and recognizes the King, and Ernani quietly urges Elvira to get ready to flee.
Act II: Ernani enters a hall in Silva's palace disguised as a pilgrim. He asks Silva for shelter and is readily obliged before Silva tells him that Elvira is about to marry him and thinks Ernani to be dead. Ernani rushes off and reveals himself to Elvira, who responds by telling him that she plans to commit suicide on the altar. Silva walks in and discovers the pair, but swears to keep his promise of asylum to Ernani. When King Carlos arrives, Silva refuses to hand over Ernani, even when they take Elvira hostage. Silva challenges Ernani to a duel, but he refuses, choosing instead to join Silva's efforts to rescue Elvira. He swears his life to Silva, and swears vengeance on the King.
Act III: Carlos visits the grave of the great Charlemagne, and promises to change his life if he is named as the succeeding Holy Roman Emperor. Out of view, he hears a gang of people, including Silva and Ernani, conspiring against him, but they are revealed by his servants. The king orders the treacherous noblemen to be killed, and in response Ernani steps forward and offers himself as well, claiming that he is actually Don Juan of Aragon, a lord who was unjustly stripped of his land. Elvira appears and begs for her lover's life. Carlos, whose attitudes have changed, releases them both and blesses their love.
Act IV: At his castle, Ernani enjoys wedded bliss with his new bride, Elvira until he hears a familiar bugle call. Calling in Ernani's life debt, Silva hands him a dagger. When Ernani begs to be allowed to savor his newfound happiness, Silva remains steadfast and accuses him of cowardice. Ernani takes his life, and, as he is dying in Elvira's arms, tells her to live. Order your Ernani tickets today to see this tragic story performed live.
Run Time:Approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes
Advisory:Due to length, format, and some adult themes, recommended for teens and older.
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