Hernani, ou l'Honneur Castillan

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Hernani, ou l'Honneur Castillan is a play by Victor Hugo (1802-1885)[1].

Also known simply as Hernani.

The original text

A play set in the Spanish court of 1519 and telling of complex courtly romance and intrigues, the play was a direct response to the restrictions imposed Classicists, and heralding the arrival of the Romantic movement in theatre. Its first performance by the Comédie-Française, on 25 February 1830, in fact led to famous demonstrations by the old guard against the new movement. The text was published in the same year.

Translations and adaptations

The play formed the basis for the opera (or "operatic dramma Lirico") in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)[2] called Ernani. It was composed to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave (1810-1876)[3]. First performed on 9 March 1844 it was immensely popular.

Performance history in South Africa

1893-4: The opera Ernani was performed by the visiting The Lyric Opera Company, led by messrs Arturo Bonamici and Edgar Perkins, as part of the repertoire of their tour of South Africa.







D.C. Boonzaier, 1923. "My playgoing days – 30 years in the history of the Cape Town stage", in SA Review, 9 March and 24 August 1923. (Reprinted in Bosman 1980: pp. 374-439.)

F.C.L. Bosman, 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1916. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp. 130, 397-8, 401

Jill Fletcher, 1994

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