15-24 April 2005. Conducted by Paolo Arrivabeni, directed by Christian Gangneron, with Patrizia Ciofi, Dario Schmunck, Andrew Schroeder, Laura Polverelli and Daniel Borowski.

At the Teatro alla Fenice in Venice, Gaetano Donizettis Pia deTolomei (15-24 April) will be performed in a new version for the first time. Straight after the success obtained with Lucia di Lammermoor, Donizetti attempted an encore with a delicate and defenceless protagonist once again. Pia is a noble and modest character, the innocent victim of a husband whom she believes cheats on her and whom she ends up killing as a vendetta. The opera was meant to be performed at the Teatro alla Fenice but when the fire destroyed the theatre in December 1836, it was moved to the Teatro Apollo, also in Venice, where it had its baptism in February 1837. The current performance therefore is a sort of return home, and it might also become the relaunch of one of the less famous operas of Donizetti, which merits more consideration than it has had until now. The progatonist will be Patrizia Ciofi, who had considerable personal success in Verdis La Traviata, which opened the new Fenice in December last year. www.teatrolafenice.it. Paolo Di Nicola

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Address Teatro La Fenice, tel. 041786511.

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Pia de Tolomei by Donizetti.

Teatro La Fenice, tel. 041786511.