Giovanna d’Arco, with a libretto by Temistocle Solera, had its world premiere at La Scala on 15 February 1845. The next Verdi opera to premiere in Milan was the revised La forza del destino nearly a quarter-century later, in 1869.
The performance of the overture is by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with Andrea Licata conducting.
Giovanna is not a great favorite of mine, but it has an interesting history. According to Wikipedia, for the opera’s first performance in Rome, the papal censors demanded that it be recast as a secular drama: “The title was changed to Orietta di Lesbo, the setting was shifted to the Greek island and the heroine, now of Genoese descent, became a leader of the Lesbians against the Turks.”
That sounds delightful for any number of reasons!
Last year I posted a clip featuring Renata Tebaldi as Giovanna, a fierce and out-of-the-ordinary performance by the great soprano. In 1972, Montserrat Caballé recorded the opera under James Levine, along with Plácido Domingo and Sherrill Milnes.
When Giovanna is sung by artists of their calibre, it suddenly becomes a much more compelling work!
According to Operabase, Giovanna will be performed in Wrocław in coming months. Do any of my distinguished readers know of other upcoming performances?