The Opera Il Corsaro wasn't the Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi's favourite one (he did not attend its debut). It had a troubled path on stage: in the Twentieth Century has practically seen the light in 1951, during the fiftieth anniversary of Verdi's death. From that moment on, it occasionally came back on stage and it was praised as a “peculiar” title, compared to more popular Giuseppe Verdi's masterpieces. But for those who are skilled listeners, the new elements of this opera are many and interesting, maybe hidden under an exotic thread, among pirates and mean Pashas.
Synopsis Il Corsaro
Corsairs have landed their ship on a small Greek island. They sing tribute to their free lifestyle. Captain Corrado watches them and smiles but he's secretly hiding that this lifestyle has cost him his love. His second in command, Giovanni, was delivered a note informing them of a possible attack by Turkish troops under the command of Pasha Seid. Corrado immediately rallies his men for war and embarks for the Turkish city of Corone. Medora has learned that Corrado is returning. When he finally arrives, the two lovers embrace. He tells her he is only staying shortly, until he departs to Corone to fight the battle. She begs him not to leave but he reassures her he will return. As he departs for Corone, Medora's heart breaks.
Non so le tetre immagini, Medora's Aria
The slave girls in the Pasha Seid's harem surround Gulnara, his favourite girl. However, Guldara hates the harem and she prays to be free one day. At the banquet hall, Pasha Seid and his men praise to their god Allah. Moments later, Corrado, disguised as a prisoner of a group of pirates, is brought to the Pasha Seid, who tries to extract information, but Corrado claims he was kept in prison the entire time and all he knows is that the pirates want the Pasha's power. Meanwhile, Corrado's men have been setting fire to the Turkish ships and the men rush to battle. The battle lies in the pirates favour, but the fires from the ship have carried over into the harem and the girls start calling for help. Corrado orders his men to save the women but the Pasha's men capture all the pirates, including Corrado.
Vola talor dal carcere, Gulnara's Aria
The Pasha Seid is troubled by Gulnara's actions. Fearing she may have fallen in love with Corrado, he calls her into his room to question her. When Seid tells her that Corrado will be sentenced to death, she begs him to spare his life. But Seid reaffirms Corrado's death and threatens her life. Corrado accepts his end while sitting in his prison cell, he only wishes he could console Medora. In that instant, his prison cell door opens and Gulnara appears. She has bribed the guards in order to free him. Gulnara and Corrado make their way down to a vessel she has prepared for them. However, Gulnara hands him a knife with instructions to kill the Pasha Seid while he sleeps. Corrado refuses and Gulnara quickly departs and returns announcing she has killed the Pasha Seid and they finally escape. Medora has drunk poison, thinking that Corrado has died. It's announced that a ship has landed with Corrado on board. Corrado enters the room followed by Gulnara. Corrado explains that he saved Gulnara's life from a fire, and in return, she saved his from the Pasha Seid. Gulnara confirms Corrado's loyalty to Medora and they embrace one last time before she dies. Corrado, in desperation, jumps off a nearby cliff.