Zampa





In three acts by HEROLD.



Text by MELLESVILLE.





This opera has met with great success both in France and elsewhere; it

is a favorite of the public, though not free from imitating other

musicians, particularly Auber and Rossini. The style of the text is

somewhat bombastic, and only calculated for effect. Notwithstanding

these defects the opera pleases; it has a brilliant introduction,

as well as nice chorus-pieces and cavatinas.



In the first act Camilla, daughter of Count Lugano expects her

bridegroom Alfonso di Monza, a Sicilian officer, for the wedding

ceremony. Dandolo, her servant, who was to fetch the priest, comes

back in a fright and with him the notorious Pirate-captain, Zampa, who

has taken her father and her bridegroom captive. He tells Camilla who

he is, and forces her to renounce Alfonso and consent to a marriage

with himself, threatening to kill the prisoners, if she refuses

compliance.--Then the pirates hold a drinking-bout in the Count's

house, and Zampa goes so far in his insolence, as to put his

bridal-ring on the finger of a marble statue, standing in the room. It

represents Alice, formerly Zampa's bride; whose heart was broken by her

lover's faithlessness; then the fingers of the statue close over the

ring, while the left hand is upraised threateningly. Nevertheless

Zampa is resolved to wed Camilla, though Alice appears once more, and

even Alfonso, who interferes by revealing Zampa's real name and by

imploring his bride to return to him, cannot change the brigand's

plans. Zampa and his comrades have received the Viceroy's pardon,

purposing to fight against the Turks, and so Camilla dares not provoke

the pirate's wrath by retracting her promise. Vainly she implores

Zampa to give her father his freedom and to let her enter a convent.

Zampa, hoping that she only fears the pirate in him tells her, that he

is Count of Monza, and Alfonso, who had already drawn his sword,

throws it away, terrified to recognize in the dreaded pirate his own

brother, who has by his extravagances once already impoverished him.



Zampa sends Alfonso to prison and orders the statue to be thrown into

the sea. Camilla once more begs for mercy, but seeing that it is

likely to avail her nothing, she flies to the Madonna's altar, charging

him loudly with Alice's death. With scorn and laughter he seizes

Camilla, to tear her from the altar, but instead of the living hand of

Camilla, he feels the icy hand of Alice, who draws him with her into

the waves.



Camilla is saved and united to Alfonso, while her delivered father

arrives in a boat, and the statue rises again from the waves, to bless

the union.





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