Il re

Il re (The king) is a novella or opera in one act and three scenes by composer Umberto Giordano to an Italian libretto by Giovacchino Forzano. The opera premiered at La Scala in Milan on 12 January 1929.[1]

Il re
Opera by Umberto Giordano
The opera's composer, Umberto Giordano
LibrettistGiovacchino Forzano
12 January 1929 (1929-01-12)
La Scala, Milan

Performance history

Unusual for a 20th-century opera, Il re was written specifically as a vehicle for Toti Dal Monte, a coloratura soprano of the old school. Dal Monte performed the work a number of times during her career but after her retirement, the opera quickly fell into obscurity.[1] In December 1949, Arturo Toscanini, who had conducted the world premiere of the opera, featured the short "Dance of the Moor" on a broadcast concert with the NBC Symphony Orchestra.


Role Voice type Premiere Cast, 12 January 1929
(Conductor: Arturo Toscanini)[2]
Rosalina soprano Toti Dal Monte*
Colombello tenor Enzo De Muro Lomanto
The King baritone Jean-Armand-Charles Crabbé
The Miller bass Tancredi Pasero
The Miller's Wife mezzo-soprano Angelica Cravcenco
The Priest tenor Giuseppe Nessi
The Lawyer bass Salvatore Baccaloni
The Astrologer mezzo-soprano Lucia Abbrescia
Voice of the Auctioneer/Butler baritone Aristide Baracchi
First Cerimoniere tenor Giovanni Azzimonti
Second Cerimoniere tenor Palmiro Domenichetti
* Dal Monte alternated performances of the role of Rosalina with Mercedes Capsir during the original 1929 production.[2]



  1. Julian Budden: "Il re", Grove Music Online ed. L. Macy (Accessed March 04, 2009), (subscription access)
  2. Casaglia, Gherardo (2005)."Il re, 12 January 1929". L'Almanacco di Gherardo Casaglia (in Italian).
  3. Recordings of Il re on

Manuscript is in Museo Teatrale alla Scala, Milano

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