Il Pigmalione (Pygmalion) is an opera in one act by Gaetano Donizetti to the libretto of Antonio Simeone Sografi.
Creation and performance history
Il Pigmalione, a drama in one act (dramma in un atto), is the first opera that Donizetti composed. It was written between September and October, 1816, when the composer was 19.
The plot is based on on the famous story of a king and sculptor, Pygmalion, originally taken from the tenth book of the Metamorphoses by Ovid. This popular story had already been adapted for a musical play by Jean-Jacques Rousseau in 1770. Donizetti set the libretto by Sografi, first written for an opera by Giovanni Batiste Cimador (1790) and also used for an opera by Bonifacio Asioli (1796).
It is believed that Donizetti's opera did not receive its premiere until October 13, 1960, when it was performed at the XVII Festival delle novitÃ at the Teatro Donizetti in the composerâ€™s home town of Bergamo, Italy. It was conducted by Armando Gatto. The role of Pigmalione was performed by Dario Antonioli, and the role of Galatea by Oriana Santunione, soprano.
The first lines