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The Bohemian Girl

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Michael William Balfe


Alfred Bunn


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The Bohemian Girl Synopsis


The Bohemian Girl Libretto


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About the opera The Bohemian Girl

The Bohemian Girl is an opera composed by Michael William Balfe with a libretto by Alfred Bunn. The plot is loosely based on a Cervantes tale, La Gitanilla.
The opera was first produced in London at the Drury Lane Theatre on November 27, 1843. The production ran for more than 100 nights and enjoyed many revivals worldwide including: New York (25 November 1844), Dublin (1844), Philadelphia (1844) and Madrid (1845). Several versions in different languages were also staged during Balfe's life. The German version, Die Zigeunerin, premiered in Vienna in 1846, the Italian adaptation and translation, titled La zingara, was originally staged in Trieste in 1854, and finally a four-act French version, "La Bohemienne", was mounted in Rouen in 1862, conducted by Jules Massenet, then aged only 20, and with the celebrated mezzo-soprano Celestine Galli-Marie in the role of the Gypsy Queen. If Die Zigeunerin enjoyed fairly widespread circulation in the countries of German language or culture, La zingara was often revived also in English-speaking towns, such as London, Dublin, New York, Boston and San Francisco. The very successful 1858 run at Her Majesty's Theatre in London, for which Balfe was rewarded with an extra cheque for fifty pounds, starred Marietta Piccolomini, Marietta Alboni and Antonio Giuglini.The opera "remained in the repertories of British touring companies until the 1930s and was revived in 1932 at Sadler's Wells". Since World War II it has been staged by the Belfast Operatic Society at the 1978 Waterford International Festival of Light Opera, in Ireland, by Castleward Opera, Strangford, in Northern Ireland (2006) and by Opera South, Haslemere, in England (2008)
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Roles in The Bohemian Girl

Arline Soprano
Thaddeus Tenor
Count Arnheim Baritone
Queen of the Gypsies Contralto
Devilshoof Bass
Florestein Tenor
Buda Soprano
Captain of the Guard Bass

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