Produced by Winter Opera Saint Louis - (Two dates available)
September 30, 2017 - 7:30pm
Saturday, September 30 - 7:30 P.M.
Sunday, October 1 - 1:00 p.m.
Edison Box Office - (314) 935-6543
Senior, WU Fac/Staff: $20
Students and Youth: $10
Wash U students free (limit one per ID)
Composer: Harold Blumenfeld
Librettist: Charles Kondek
Borgia Infami depicts the lives, loves and crimes of the notorious Borgia family. The opera focuses upon Rodrigo, who becomes the brilliant and corrupt Pope Alexander VI; his son Cesare, whose ruthless pursuit of power is immortalized in Machiavelli’s writings; and, finally, Lucrezia, the Duchess of Ferrara, Rodrigo’s beautiful daughter, and alleged poisoner of the family’s enemies. The action unfolds on dual levels, alternating historical fact with Victor Hugo’s hyper melodramatic portrayal of Lucrezia. She has given birth to an illegitimate son, a product of suspected incest, inside the Vatican walls. After being separated at birth, the boy matures into a virtuous young officer driven by two passions: to find his lost mother and a burning hatred for the Borgias. All the while, Lucrezia has lovingly watched over him from a distance, writing him anonymously. However, unwittingly she comes to poison him and his Borgia-hostile comrades. Out of shock and desperation she mortally stabs herself and, as she perishes, reveals her true identity to her son. After perishing together, her crimes are absolved through her selfless maternal devotion. Ingeniously, the librettist has connected all of this to the present.
Borgia Infami is a singers’ opera with arias emerging into duets, trios, and a sextet. This opera features violence, mayhem, and death. The auto da fe of Savonarola is presented, along with a scene of inebriation interrupted by the death chant of approaching monks, scenes of impassioned filial love, and street urchins for comic relief. In addition to the various scenes of overflowing emotion there are moments of wistful simplicity such as Lucrezia in her convent, with a Bingen-like women's chant in the background. The opera opens to a scene featuring a vast fresco of the coronation of Rodrigo Borgia as Pope coming alive to commence the opera.