The Il Sant’Alessio Opera of 1977: A Salzburg Music

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


The Il Sant’Alessio Opera of 1977 was a Salzburg Music Festival event that was well-received by audiences.

The Opera

There are many wonderful operas that are enjoyed by music lovers all over the world. One of these is the Il Sant’Alessio opera of 1977. This opera is set in the 12th century and is based on the life of Saint Alessio.

The Plot

Alessio is a pious young man who falls in love with Lisa, a Jewish girl. He breaks off his marriage to the beautiful but cold Valeria and renounces his family’s fortune. penniless, he joins the army to fight against the emperor’s forces, but is captured and executed.

The Music

The music was composed by Italian composer Domenico Cimarosa with a libretto by Giovanni Bertati. It is based on the life of Saint Alexis, a 4th-century Sicilian saint. The opera was first performed at the Salzburg Festival in 1977.

Since its premiere, the opera has been performed all over the world, including in Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, and the United States. In 2018, it was performed at the Opera Theater of Saint Louis.

The Production

The Il Sant’Alessio Opera of 1977 is a production of the Salzburg music festival, which is the oldest and most prestigious classical music festival in the world. It is held annually in Salzburg, Austria, and is attended by some of the most prestigious musicians in the world. The festival was founded in 1877 by Richard Wagner, and has since been held every year except for the years of the First and Second World Wars.

The Location

The location of the opera is in the city of Salzburg, Austria. The city is situated on the banks of the Salzach River, with the glorious Alpine mountains towering in the background. It is a picturesque setting for an opera that is based on a medieval legend set in Italy.

The Director

Giancarlo Del Monaco was one of the most important opera directors of the 20th century. He was born in 1920 in Catania, Sicily and died in 2005 in Milan.

During his long career, Del Monaco worked with some of the world’s most important opera companies, including La Scala, the Metropolitan Opera, and the Vienna State Opera. He also worked with many of the world’s most famous singers, including Maria Callas, Placido Domingo, and Jon Vickers.

Del Monaco was especially well-known for his productions of Verdi operas. His 1977 production of Il Sant’Alessio at the Salzburg Festival is considered one of his finest achievements.

The Set and Costumes

Piazza del Campo in Siena was the location of the set for the 1977 Il Sant’Alessio Opera. In addition to being the home of the Palio, a medieval horse race that is still run twice annually, it is one of Italy’s most iconic squares. The stage was designed by Pier Luigi Pizzi and made to look like a 17th century painting come to life. The costumes were also period pieces and created by Raimonda Gaetani.

The Reception

The Critics

The Il Sant’Alessio Opera of 1977, directed by Hugo von Hofmannsthal, was not well received by the critics. Many found the music to be discordant and the story to be disjointed. Some even went so far as to say that the opera was “a disaster.”

The Public

While the public may not have known what to make of the opera when it was first performed, it has since become a classic.

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