Isabeau is a leggenda drammatica or opera in three parts by Pietro Mascagni, 1911, from an Italian libretto by Luigi Illica. Mascagni conducted its first performance on 2 June 1911 at the Teatro Coliseo, Buenos Aires.

A retelling of the medieval English legend of Lady Godiva, Mascagni described it in an interview as his attempt to "return to the romanticism which inspired so much of Italian opera."

Roles

RoleVoice typePremiere Cast, 2 June 1911
(Conductor: - Mascagni)
King RaimondobassCarlo Galeffi
Isabeau, his daughtersopranoMaria Farneti
Cornelius, the king's ministerbaritoneGiuseppe La Puma
Folco, a falconertenorAntonio Saluda
ErmyntrudesopranoOlga Simzis
ErmyngardesopranoAmalia Columbo
GigliettasopranoMaria Pozzi
il cavalier FaiditbaritoneDentale Teofido
l'araldo maggiorebaritone

Synopsis

King Raimondo tries to find a husband for the princess Isabeau by holding a tournament, but she's unwilling to choose a husband. When the king forces her to ride naked through the city, the people refuse to look at her out of respect. Furthermore, they demand from the king an edict condemning to blindness anyone who dares to look at her. Unaware of the edict, the falconer Folco accidentally looks upon Isabeau throughout her ride and is arrested. When Isabeau visits him in prison, she falls in love with him and begs her father to pardon him. Notwithstanding the king's minister stirs up the passions of the people who rise up in a vigilante mob and kill Folco. Isabeau kills herself over his dying body.