New Production! On stage at La Fenice for the first time in French (after its 20th-century revivals in Italian in 1965 and 1988), Donizetti’s great romantic opera unfolds against the background of the Moorish invasions of Spain and power struggles between church and state. The story charts a love triangle involving Alfonso, King of Castile (Vito Priante), his mistress ('the favourite') Léonore (Veronica Simeoni), and her lover Fernand (John Osborn).
One of the masterpieces in Donizetti’s prolific production, La Favorita debuted at the Paris Opéra on 2 December, 1840. It is an extraordinary grand-opéra, with outstanding arias, lavish sets and ballet in which Donizetti shows he has understood French taste perfectly, skilfully adapting the Italian soul of his compositions. A blood and thunder opera with court intrigue, religion, betrayal, hidden identities and discoveries, in which love is sacrificed for deception and state reasons, in a crescendo of opulent sonority.