Tragic opera in two acts (concert performance)
Music by Gaetano Donizetti
Libretto by Giovanni Emanuele Bidera
Musical Director: Larisa Gergieva
Chorus Master: Pavel Teplov
Soloists of the Mariinsky Academy of Young Opera Singers
The Mariinsky Orchestra
Gemma di Vergy is an 1834 tragedia lirica (tragic opera) in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti from a libretto by Giovanni Emanuele Bidera. It is based on the tragedy Charles VII chez ses grands vassaux (Charles VII and His Chief Vassals) (1831) by Alexandre Dumas père, which was later to become the subject of the opera The Saracen by the Russian composer César Cui.
The heroine is the childless wife of the Count of Vergy, and the plot deals with her jealousy and grief as her husband arranges an annulment of their marriage in preparation for the arrival of his new bride, Ida, and her despair following the murder of her husband by a slave, Tamas, who is secretly in love with her.
Gemma di Vergy was first performed on 26 December 1834 at the Teatro alla Scala, Milan. The leading role was taken by the Italian soprano Giuseppina Ronzi de Begnis, Donizetti's favourite prima donna at the time, for whom he had previously composed Fausta (1832 ), and for whom he was later to compose Roberto Devereux (1837).