La Favorite

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La Favorite ("The Favourite") is an opera in four acts by Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1838)[1] and , with a French libretto by Alphonse Royer (1803-1875)[2] and Gustave Vaëz (1812-1862)[3].

Also known by the Italian title of La Favorita.

The original text

Based on the 1764 play Les Amans Malheureux, ou Le Comte de Comminge by Baculard d'Arnaud (1718–1805)[4], (an adaptation des Mémoires du comte de Comminge by Mme de Tencin, 1735), the romantic opera tells of the struggles of the King of Castile, Alfonso XI, and his mistress, the "favourite" Leonora, against the backdrop of the political wiles of receding Moorish Spain and the life of the Catholic Church. It premiered on December 2, 1840 at the Académie Royale de Musique (Salle Le Peletier) in Paris, France.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1893-4: Performed as La Favorita by the Lyric Opera Company on tour in South Africa, including performances in the Opera House, Cape Town.


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 1932. (Reprinted in Bosman 1980: pp. 374-439.)

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1912. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp.401,

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