Milano: G. Ricordi [PNs 5900-5775, 5901-11], .
Oblong folio. Brown leather-backed marbled paper boards, gilt-ruled compartments with decorative devices blindstamped and titling gilt to spine. 1f. (recto title, verso blank), 1f. (recto named cast list, verso table of contents), 173 pp. Each number with separate caption title, some with separate pagination. Engraved.
Named cast includes Donzelli as Pollione, Negrini as Oroveso, Pasta as Norma, Giuletta Grisi as Adalgisa, Sacchi as Clotilde, and Lombardi as Flavio.
From the collection of Italian conductor, vocal coach, and close associate of Puccini and Mascagni, Luigi Ricci (1893-1981). Previous owner's name "M. Astolfi" in black ink to title, possibly the noted Italian dancer and choreographer Luigi Astolfi, ca. 1790-1860.
Binding slightly worn, rubbed, and bumped. Minor soiling to title with creases, light foxing scattered throughout.
First Edition, second issue (distinguished by the presence of continuous pagination). Lippmann, p. 386. Crawford, p. 30.
Norma, in two acts to a libretto by Felice Romani after Alexandre Soumet’s verse tragedy Norma, was first performed in Milan at the Teatro alla Scala on December 26, 1831.
"With Norma, the most ambitious of his operas, Bellini created a work of extraordinary lyrical and dramatic beauty. Through melody of a kind that had not been written before or has been since, the structure of the music expresses a tragedy that is virtually of epic scale." Galatopoulos: Bellini, p. 242.
"Norma has always been revered above other Italian operas of the period... The title role is one of the most taxing and wide-ranging parts in the entire repertory: a noble character whose tragedy lies in her fatal love for an enemy of her people. The many different aspects of Norma’s temperament are marvellously drawn by Bellini, not only in the aria ‘Casta diva’, but also in the superb duets with Adalgisa and Pollione, and in the ensemble in the finale of Act 2, where Bellini reaches his peak as a musical dramatist." Simon Maguire and Elizabeth Forbes in Grove Music Online.
Ricci was an important figure in the transmission of 19th century traditions passed on to him by noted baritone Antonio Cotogni (1831-1918), whom he accompanied from the age of 12. He was active as a vocal coach at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, where he taught (amongst many others) Sesto Bruscantini, Anna Moffo, Rosalind Elias, Ezio Flagello, Peter Lindroos, and Martti Wallén.
Price: $2,500.00 other currencies