La Visita Meravigliosa / The Wonderful Visit

Category Opera, Theatre, Ballet

Arrangiamento / Arrangement: Opera in 2 atti e 9 scene (dal romanzo di H.G. Wells) / Opera in 2 acts and 9 scenes (from the story by H.G Wells)

Prima Esecuzione / First Performed: Palermo, Teatro Massimo, 6 Febbraio 1970

Direttore / Conductor: Fernando Previtali

Cast di Personaggi / Cast of Characters:

  • Rev. Hilyer, Vicario di Sidderford basso / L'Angelo, tenore / Mrs Hinijer, governante del Vicario, contralto / Delia, una ragazza, soprano lirico leggiero / Dott. Crump, medico condotto, tenore / Rev. Mendham, curato basso / Lady Hammergallow, mezzo-soprano / Sir John Gotch, possidente, baritono / Una donna, mezzo-soprano / Gli invitati di Lady Hammergallow: Mr Wilmerdings professore di musica basso / Miss Pirbright (la figlia), soprano leggiero / Mrs Pirbright (la madre), mezzo-soprano / Mr Pirbright (il padre), basso / Miss Jehoram, soprano / Miss Papaver, mezzo-soprano / Il fidanzato di Miss Pirbright, tenore / Un signore, baritono

Strumentazione / Instrumentation:

  • / / Tp. Perc. A. Cel. Org. / Archi (sulla scena: Trb. solista, Pf. solista, 4 Trb. Cmp.)

It was John Ruskin who remarked that if an angel flew over Victorian England by mistake, he would be shot on sight. This bon mot provided H. G. Wells with the inspiration for his story “The Wonderful Visit” published in 1895 which was in turn adapted by Nino Rota for his opera La visita meravigliosa. Reverend Hilyer, an amateur ornithologist, shoots down a strange bird with brightly coloured feathers which turns out to be an angel. He takes the creature with its injured wing back home to the vicarage to care for it. The angel becomes progressively irritated by Victorian society which treats him with both curiosity and reservation, fascinated by his reticent manner and fine violin playing, but rejecting him as a “socialist” due to his unconventional views. Events get out of hand when he falls in love with Delia, the Reverend’s serving girl, and the tale ends in catastrophe. The angel whose wings have begun to atrophy hits Sir Gotch, a friend of the Reverend, with his riding crop and flees, believing he has killed the man. At the same time, the vicarage goes up in flames; Delia runs into the burning house to save the angel’s violin. The angel follows her into the house, regains his former powers and flies away with her, leaving behind the baffled and bemused community. Nino Rota creates a skilful blend of Late Romantic sentimentality and verismo in this work; we hear reminiscences of Wagner and Puccini and also of popular English and Italian music from around the turn of the twentieth century, the period in which the action takes place. This fusion displays the consummate skills of the film composer Rota in recreating highly authentic emotions and atmospheres of a particular era through his music.
--Schott Music

Note: At the request of Federico Fellini’s wife Giulietta Masina, "Improvviso dell'Angelo" from the opera La Visita Meravigliosa by Nino Rota was performed by Mauro Maur (trumpet) and Luigi Celeghin (Organ) at Fellini’s funeral in November, 1993, at St. Mary of the Angels Basilica in Rome.


See also:


Sheet Music

Date 1965-1969
Publisher Schott Music