Reference Entry

Idiota, L’

Raffaele Pozzi

in Oxford Music Online

Published in print December 1992 |
Published online January 2002 | e-ISBN: 9781561592630 | DOI:

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(‘The Idiot’)

Opera lirica in three acts (seven scenes) by Luciano Chailly to a libretto by Gilberto Loverso after Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky’s novel; Rome, Teatro dell’Opera, 18 February 1970.

Chailly’s opera, composed in 1966–7, follows Dostoyevsky’s novel more or less faithfully. Apparently cured of his epilepsy, Prince Lev Nikolayevich Myskin (tenor), known because of his naivety as ‘the idiot’, returns to St Petersburg from Switzerland. On seeing the portrait of Nastasia Filipovna Baraskova (mezzo-soprano), the fiancée of Gavrila Ardalionich Ivolgin (tenor), he asks Gavrila if he may meet her. Nastasia is left troubled by their meeting and, surprisingly, confides in Myskin as to the advisability of marrying Gavrila; Myskin counsels her against doing so. Nastasia breaks off her engagement, to general dismay. The wealthy Parfen Rogozin (baritone) then offers 100 000 rubles for Nastasia’s hand, and Myskin too proposes marriage. Fearful of hurting Myskin, Nastasia follows Rogozin, whom she nevertheless soon leaves. Sensing that this anguished love will lead to Nastasia’s death, Myskin falls prey to an epileptic attack....

Reference Entry.  340 words. 

Subjects: Opera ; Musical Scores, Lyrics, and Libretti

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