Fernando Cortez

Following on from the triumph of Vestale, Gaspare Spontini, the favourite musician of Napoleon, was called on to compose a new opera for the most important theatre in Paris, the Opèra. The choice was for the story of Fernand Cortez, a legendary 16th-century Spanish captain involved in the conquering of Mexico. It was Napoleon himself who asked for a grand heroic opera. Well aware of the power of art as a vehicle for propaganda, the emperor aimed to obtain public support for his military campaign in Spain. The protagonist of the opera, a wise and magnanimous man, whose only desire was to free the Mexican people from the slavery imposed by the superstitious indigenous religion, in fact represented the perfect match for Napoleon, who - like Cortez - wanted to appear as a representative of civil and liberal values. Fernand Cortez made its debut at the Opèra on 28 November 1809. The sumptuous staging, grandiloquent orchestra, spectacular special effects - such as the charging of real horses on the stage - war-like choirs, barbarous dances and even a sentimental touch provided by the love between Cortez and the young indigenous Amazily, guaranteed the opera its hoped-for success. The glory of Napoleon was greatly exalted, and Fernand Cortez became the symbolic opera of his empire

Program and cast

Artists


Conductor: Fabio Luisi

Director: Cecilia Ligorio

Orchestra and Chorus of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
Chrous Master: Lorenzo Fratini

Compagnia Nuovo BallettO di ToscanA

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Teatro del Maggio

Teatro del Maggio is in the centre, close to the old city walls, next to the historic Stazione Leopolda. The garden that welcomes visitors is Piazzale Vittorio Gui, named after the founder of the Stabile Orchestrale Fiorentina and the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.


By train
Santa Maria Novella is Florence's main train station.
From there you can reach the theatre with a short walk (about 10-15 minutes) or by taking the tram (a stop) or a taxi.


By car
The Opera di Firenze is just outside the ZTL area.
It is possible to park near the Parco delle Cascine or for a fee in the Porta al Prato car park (Via Elio Gabbuggiani, 7) and in the Piazza Vittorio Veneto car park.


By bus
Lines C1, C2 and D (Leopolda stop);
Lines 17 and 23A-B (stop Via delle Carra);
Lines 17B-C, 22, 23N, 23 and 57 (Pierluigi da Palestrina stop);
Lines 29, 29B, 29BA, 29BC, 29D, 30A, 30B, 30AC, 35 and 35° (stop Leopolda - Porta al Prato; Capolinea).


By tram
Line T1 (stop Porta al Prato - Parco della musica).

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