Sancia di Castiglia

Sancia di Castiglia is an Italian opera seria in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti to a libretto by Pietro Salatino. It was first performed at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, on 4 November 1832 conducted by Nicola Festa.


Role Voice type Premiere Cast, 4 November 1832
(Conductor: Nicola Festa)
Sancia soprano Giuseppina Ronzi de Begnis
Garzia, her son mezzo-soprano Diomilla Santolini
Ircano bass Luigi Lablache
Rodrigo tenor Giovanni Basadonna
Elvira soprano Edvige Ricci


Place: Castile, Spain
Time: the middle ages

Sancia, Queen of Castile, whose husband has been killed in battle, also believes that her son, Garcia, has been killed. She plans to marry the Saracen prince, Ircano, against the advice of her minister, Rodrigo. When Garcia, having survived an assassination attempt instigated by Ircano, reappears to claim the throne, Ircano tells Sancia that he will marry her only if she poisons her son. Garcia is about to drink from the poisoned goblet when a suddenly repentant Sancia snatches it and drinks it herself. She dies pleading for her son's forgiveness.


Year Cast
(Sancia, Ircano, Rodrigo)
Opera House and Orchestra
1992 Montserrat Caballé,
Boris Martinovich,
José Sempere
José M. Collado,
Coro del Teatro Lírico Nacional. Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid
(Recording of a concert performance in the Teatro de la Zarzuela, Madrid, 9 February)
Audio CD: House of Opera
Cat: CD 192



  1. Source for recording information:


  • Allitt, John Stewart (1991), Donizetti: in the light of Romanticism and the teaching of Johann Simon Mayr, Shaftesbury: Element Books, Ltd (UK); Rockport, MA: Element, Inc.(USA)
  • Ashbrook, William (1982), Donizetti and His Operas, Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-23526-X
  • Ashbrook, William (1998), "Donizetti, Gaetano" in Stanley Sadie (Ed.), The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, Vol. One. London: Macmillan Publishers, Inc. ISBN 0-333-73432-7 ISBN 1-56159-228-5
  • Ashbrook, William and Sarah Hibberd (2001), in Holden, Amanda (Ed.), The New Penguin Opera Guide, New York: Penguin Putnam. ISBN 0-14-029312-4. pp. 224 – 247.
  • Black, John (1982), Donizetti’s Operas in Naples, 1822—1848. London: The Donizetti Society.
  • Loewenberg, Alfred (1970). Annals of Opera, 1597-1940, 2nd edition. Rowman and Littlefield
  • Osborne, Charles, (1994), The Bel Canto Operas of Rossini, Donizetti, and Bellini, Portland, Oregon: Amadeus Press. ISBN 0-931340-71-3
  • Sadie, Stanley, (Ed.); John Tyrell (Exec. Ed.) (2004), The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. 2nd edition. London: Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-19-517067-2 (hardcover). ISBN 0-19-517067-9 OCLC 419285866 (eBook).
  • Weinstock, Herbert (1963), Donizetti and the World of Opera in Italy, Paris, and Vienna in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century, New York: Pantheon Books. LCCN 63-13703
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