Angelo, Tyran de Padoue

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Angelo, Tyran de Padoue is a French romantic drama in three acts by Victor Hugo (1802-1885)[1].

The original text

Hugo's second play, it was written in less than three weeks during February of 1835 and opened at the Théâtre Français, Paris, on 28 April, 1835, where it had 36 successful performances. It was once more done in 1850 and was done in 1905 starring Sarah Bernhardt.

The text was published in 1835 by J.P. Meline, Brussels, and by Hetzel et Quantin, Paris.

Translations and adaptations

Translated into English as Angelo, Tyrant of Padua

The play has been adapted in a variety of forms, including two films and six operas, the most famous of which is probably La Gioconda, the well-known opera in four acts by Amilcare Ponchielli (1834-1886)[2], with an Italian libretto by Arrigo Boito (1842-1918, writing as Tobia Gorrio)[3]. It was first performed at the Teatro alla Scala, Milan, on 8 April 1876, but Ponchielli revised the work several times and it was especially successful in its third and final version, first performed at the same theatre on 28 March 1880. The opera opened in the USA at the Metropolitan Opera in New York on 20 December 1883.

Performance history in South Africa

Listed below are all the various versions of the original play by Hugo, including the two operas.

1893-4: La Gioconda performed by an Italian opera company, headed by Madame Ancarina Massimimi, while on tour in South Africa, including performances in the Opera House, Cape Town, under the auspices of Signor Arturo Bonamici and the Lyric Opera Company.


Facsimile version of the 1835 edition of Hugo's play, Hathi Trust Digital Library[4],_tyran_de_Padoue

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.203-205

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