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Franch Faccio: Amleto 'Hamlet'



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First performed in 1865, Amleto (‘Hamlet’) represented a radical new development in Italian opera, the nuovo melodramma. Composer Franco Faccio and his librettist Arrigo Boito sought a greater degree of musical unity in staged productions and a more equal relationship between text and music. In Hamlet, a play that many then considered un-operatic, they found the perfect medium through which to explore the work’s philosophical and dramatic power – not least the
great set-piece scenes: Amleto’s soliloquy ‘Essere o non essere!’ (‘To be or not to be’), Ofelia’s Mad Scene and the fight scenes – in a way that strikingly prefigures the verismo operas yet to come.
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