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