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In a season of commemorations such as this one at the Teatro Real, La favorita (La favorite), by Gaetano Donizetti, could not be left out of the programme; this is the opera which opened the Teatro Real on 19 November 1850. It was performed in its Italian version by one of the divas of the moment as its protagonist: Marietta Alboni.

La favorita, which we will hear in a concert version, will be conducted by Daniel Oren and it will be the debut on the Madrid stage of one of today’s most acclaimed mezzo sopranos: Jamie Barton. Baritone Simone Piazzola will be Alfonso XI, and tenor Javier Camarena, complete the tortured trio. 


Opera in four acts

Music by Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848)
Libretto by Alphonse Royer, Gustave Vaëz and Eugène Scribe
Premiered at the Académie Royale de Musique de Paris on 2 December 1840
Premiered at the Teatro Real on 19 November 1850
Opera in concert version

Principal Chorus and Orchestra of the Teatro Real
(Coro Intermezzo / Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid)

Approximate running time

3 hours and 10 minutes
Acts I and II: 1 hour and 20 minutes
25 minute intermission
Actos III and  IV: 1 hour and 20 minutes

Starting Point

La favorite, Gaetano Donizetti's most important of his opera serias written for Paris, dates to a prolific moment in the composer’s career. Léonor and Fernand fall into a profound yet impossible love. What might have been no more than some misunderstanding, leads to its inevitable and tragic conclusion.

The Spanish court of the 14th century is the background for a story with a clumsy libretto which weaves together an endless number of romantic clichés: marginalized characters, an exotically dramatic setting, scenes of madness, or passion prevailing over reason. And yet, this was no obstacle for Donizetti who composed some of his most inspired music. In particular, many believe the fourth act (much of which is based on an uncompleted project) has some of the most sublime moments of all his music. The power of the melody and the astounding beauty of the score combine in a story about public humiliation for alleged deceit, and which takes place with the consent of the person that is loved.

Production Team & Cast

  • Musical director: Daniel Oren
  • Chorus Master: Andrés Máspero
· - ·
  • Alphonse XI: Simone Piazzola
  • Léonor de Guzmán: Jamie Barton
  • Inés: Marina Monzó
  • Fernand: Javier Camarena
  • Balthazar: Simón Orfila
  • Don Gaspar: Antonio Lozano
  • A lord: Alejandro del Cerro

Performance Dates

  • 6 NOV (M) 20:00h
  • Place: Main Auditorium

Programme of show

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