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Amelia

Amelia is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi. Libretto by Piave.

Plot

ACT I. Officers and citizens in the house of Count Richard express their love for him, while the Conspirators, Samuel, Tom and their friends, declare their hatred. Ulrica is about to be banished as a witch. Richard loves Amelia, the wife of his secretary. Her husband, having seen a list of the invited guests, warns the governor of treachery to come, and he resolves to visit Ulrica in disguise. The conspirators, learning of this, determine to take advantage of the opportunity to wreak their vengeance. Change of scene: Ulrica’s dwelling. Incantation scene. Amid a crowd of women and children, Richard appears in the disguise of a fisherman and is recognised by Ulrica. When Amelia also arrives the witch dismisses the crowd; Richard overhears that he is beloved by Amelia, who desires forgetfulness from the sorceress. Ulrica tells Amelia to pluck a certain plant at midnight in a lonely place, and she departs. Richard now has his fortune told, and hears that death is his portion and that the man who first presses his hand that day will be the murderer. Renato appears, and extends his hand to Richard. Richard is recognised as the governor and is joyfully greeted by the people.

ACT II. Midnight. A deserted spot. Amelia, conuering her fears, approaches; she meets Richard and both declare their love. Renato unexpectedly arrives on the scene to save the governor from the conspirators. He does not recognise his disguised wife, and first having changed cloaks with Richard, promises to escort her to safety. The Conspirators are foiled, but in revenge tear the veil from Amelia’s face, and Renato, thunderstruck, recognises his wife. Renato’s love for the governor turns to hate and he arranges for the conspirators to meet him on the morrow. He keeps his word to the governor and escorts Amelia to the city.

ACT III. Renato’s chamber. Renato plans to kill his wife, but changes his mind and determines to avenge the insult he has received in the blood of Richard. He promises aid to the conspirators and compels Amelia to take part in the drawing of lots; his name is found on the slip and Amelia suspects his design. Oscar, the page, brings an invitation to the masked ball, which Renato accepts. Change of scene: Masked ball at the palace of the governor. Richard resolves to allow Renato and Amelia to sail for England and thus be true to honour and duty. Crowd of maskers. The conspirators seek the governor, but he is warned by Amelia and bids her farewell, renounc­ing his love for her. He is stabbed by Renato, who has followed him. Dying, he declares Amelia’s innocence and forgives Renato.

References and external links: Plot taken from The Opera Goer's Complete Guide by Leo Melitz, 1921 version.


Amelia refers to the birth defect of lacking one or more limbs.



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