Louise Bertin (1805-1877)


Opera semi-seria in 4 acts in Italian, by Louise Bertin, from Goethe created at Théâtre-Italien in Paris (salle Favart) the 7th of March 1831.
Karine Deshayes
Karina Gauvin
Ante Jerkunica
Nico Darmanin
Marie Gautrot
Una Strega / Marta
Diana Axentii
Wagner / Un Banditore
Thibault de Damas
Flemish Radio Choir
Choir master
Thomas Tacquet
Les Talens Lyriques
Christophe Rousset
Fausto Louise Bertin (1805-1877)

It was around 1825 that Louise Bertin, a pupil of Reicha and friend of Berlioz, took up the subject of Faust with all the energy and confidence of a young woman of twenty. The work was premiered in Paris in 1831 as an opera semi-seria for the Théâtre-Italien. As familiar with Rossinian style as with the experiments of the burgeoning genre of Romantic opera, Bertin exceeded the public’s expectations and won over the critics with her daring. Colourful orchestration, charming cantabiles, energetic choruses – everything seemed to promise the work would enter the repertory.

But the closure of the theatre after just three performances decided otherwise, and the score languished in the vaults of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France for 190 years. The leading role, conceived for the mezzo-soprano Rosmunda Pisaroni, was finally created by the tenor Domenico Donzelli. In this complete recording with period instruments, it is restored to its original form, which has never been heard before, even in the composer’s lifetime.

Listen to
an excerpt

Recording made in June  2023 at the Seine Musicale (Paris).
Éditions musicales du Palazzetto Bru Zane.