Isabeau is a leggenda drammatica or opera in three parts by Pietro Mascagni, 1911, from an Italian libretto by Luigi Illica. Mascagni conducted its first performance on 2 June 1911 at the Teatro Coliseo, Buenos Aires.[1]

A retelling of the medieval English legend of Lady Godiva, Mascagni described it in an interview as his attempt to "return to the romanticism which inspired so much of Italian opera."[2]


Role Voice type Premiere Cast, 2 June 1911[3]
(Conductor: - Mascagni)
King Raimondo baritone Carlo Galeffi
Isabeau, his daughter soprano Maria Farneti
Cornelius, the king's minister baritone Giuseppe La Puma
Folco, a falconer tenor Antonio Saluda
Ermyntrude soprano Olga Simzis
Ermyngarde soprano Amalia Columbo
Giglietta soprano Maria Pozzi
il cavalier Faidit baritone Dentale Teofido
l'araldo maggiore baritone


King Raimondo tries to find a husband for the princess Isabeau by holding a tournament, but she is unwilling to choose a husband. When the king forces her to ride naked through the city, the people refuse to look at her out of respect. Furthermore, they demand from the king an edict condemning to blindness anyone who dares to look at her. Unaware of the edict, the falconer Folco accidentally looks upon Isabeau during her ride and is arrested. When Isabeau visits him in prison, she falls in love with him and begs her father to pardon him. However, the king's minister stirs up the passions of the people who rise up in a vigilante mob and kill Folco. Isabeau kills herself over his dying body.[2][4]



  1. Warrack and West, p. ??
  2. Girardi, Michelle, Grove Music Online "Isabeau", (Ed.) L. Macy. (By subscription). Retrieved on 22 March 2008
  3. Isabeau on
  4. Warrack, John & West, Ewan, "Isabeau" The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Opera Oxford University Press, 1996 Oxford Reference Online (Retrieved on March 22, 2008)


  • Warrack, John & West, Ewan "Buenos Aires" The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Opera Oxford University Press, 1996 Oxford Reference Online (Retrieved on 22 March 2008)
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