Who Would Not Happy Be? (In Questo Semplice.) The admired Song, sung by Madlle. Alboni in Donizetti's Opera "Betly." [Piano-vocal score]. Marietta ALBONI, Gaetano Donizetti.

Who Would Not Happy Be? (In Questo Semplice.) The admired Song, sung by Madlle. Alboni in Donizetti's Opera "Betly." [Piano-vocal score].

London: Musical Bouquet [PNs 970 & 971], [1856]. Folio. [1] (title incorporating a half-length portrait of Alboni), 2-6 pp. Text in Italian and English (by Horace Martin).

From the collection of the distinguished American mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne (b. 1934).

Slightly worn and browned; small tear to lower blank margin; split at head and tail of spine.

Italian contralto Marietta Alboni appeared at La Scala, Vienna, Covent Garden, the Théâtre Italien, the Paris Opéra, among other important European opera houses, coached by Rossini in the principal contralto roles in his operas. Her voice "was considered a true contralto, rich and even from g to c‴, though she also sang several soprano roles, including Anna Bolena, Norina in Don Pasquale and Amina in La sonnambula. Her singing was thought by some to lack fire; nevertheless, the beauty of her voice and the perfection of her technique made her one of the great representatives of classical Italian bel canto." Elizabeth Forbes in Grove Music Online.

Donizetti's Betly was first performed in Naples at the Teatro Nuovo on August 21, 1836; it premiered in London in the following year. Alboni often performed the aria "In questo semplice" in her London concerts.

"Horne had a voice of extraordinary range, rich and tangy in timbre, with a stentorian chest register and an exciting top... In concert she once achieved the feat of singing in a single programme Rossini arias and Brünnhilde’s Immolation Scene, proof of her exceptional versatility. Throughout her lengthy career she was an admired recitalist, singing lieder, mélodies, Spanish and American songs with equal aplomb." Alan Blyth in Grove Music Online. Item #31470

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