Doe a deer…..a female deer.



This is very unusual music I must say. Looking forward to it.  Never sang in Avery Fisher with only the bottom half available to the public. Less expensive for the producer and very nice when you think how money hungry theaters are usually.  The acoustic should be very live.   Nov.13, 2007 at 8:00 p.m.     Jose Luis Duval and Todd Thomas, are the tenor and baritone, who I must say have the most music. Soprano has the final say, of course.  Beautiful scena of transfiguration and freedom at the end.  “With love anything is possible”  is the theme, real love over possessive love, love more powerful than pride and brawn.  The meekest creature the doe, a deer a female deer,in the end proves stronger than all concerned.  Extremely atmospheric.  Deserves to come off the shelf and be heard. The Story:


A medieval castle, at the foot of the Italian Alps. It is winter. Folco (baritone) and his new wife, Giselda (soprano), have just finished dinner as Folco nervously awaits the arrival of Rinaldo (tenor). Giselda questions why he has sent for her former suitor. Folco informs her that Rinaldo is bringing with him a sorcerer whom he hopes will be able to explain what happened to him while hunting that day. Rinaldo and the sorcerer, Salomone (bass), finally arrive and Folco explains how he had hunted a wolf in the forest and after killing it, had looked up to see a white deer which he also killed, but as the deer lay dying, he saw Giselda’s face in the deer’s face, with sad eyes pleading for mercy. Salomone advises Folco that it is pride, not love, that ties his to Giselda and that he should return to find the deer and bring it back to the castle as though it were his wife’s own body. Folco assures Salomone that he does love Giselda and rushes out to find the deer.Left alone, Rinaldo tells Giselda how he has dreamed of her presence every night in his lonely room, as though she, herself, were there. Giselda laughs at him, but he assures her that love can accomplish anything. Doubting him, she says that only if he were able to change the wintry garden outside into spring could she be his. As the scene darkens, Salomone disappears into the background saying, “If you love, you shall see the spring”. Folco runs in crying out Giselda’s name, but he no longer sees her, only the dead body of the white deer lying in her place. As the garden outside turns from winter into spring, Giselda sings ecstatically of the beauty of spring and the miracle of love. 

L’Incantesimo was Montemezzi’s last work and was composed in Beverly Hills where Montemezzi, unable to return home, resided during the war. The opera premiered on NBC radio on October 9, 1943, conducted by the composer and starring the brilliant young soprano Vivian Della Chiesa, to whom our performance is dedicated. The staged première took place nine years later at the Arena in Verona on August 9, 1952. Montemezzi, back in Italy after the war, actively participated in planning the production with Carla Gavazzi, Francesco Albanese, Enzo Mascherini and Giuseppe Modesti, conducted by Francesco Molinari Pradelli, with sets by Nicola Benois, but on May 15th, only a few months before the première, he died of a heart attack.We are extremely grateful to our Advisory Director, Carlo Todeschi in Rovereto, Italy, and especially to the Fondazione Arena di Verona and in particular Daniela Greco, in charge of their archives, for making available to us the 1952 première program, photos, and newspaper clippings which we will be reprinting in our libretto program this year. We would also like to thank Ivano Zanoli of Legnago who so graciously made available to us many historic photographs of that production from his private collection.  

~ by aprilemillo on November 3, 2007.