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Cyrano de Bergerac is a four-act opera with music by Franco Alfano, and libretto by Henri Caïn, based on Edmond Rostand's drama Cyrano de Bergerac. The opera received its first performance in Romemarker on 22 January 1936, conducted by Tullio Serafin, with Maria Caniglia and José Luccioni. The first performance in Paris was on 29 May 1936 at the Opéra-Comiquemarker.

Although Alfano originally set the text in French, the premiere was sung in Italian, as were many early Italian productions. In recent years, most productions have returned to the original French text.

Contemporary commentary on the opera by Guido M. Gatti criticised the composer as fearing "to seem too melodramatic", and the opera for being "overdecorated and labored" and containing "difficult and tortuous vocal writing". However, the same analysis also mentioned that "the opera has moments of definite effectiveness and exquisite poetry".

The US premiere was on 13 May 2005 when the opera was presented at the Metropolitan Opera with Plácido Domingo in the title role.


Role Voice type Premiere cast, 22 January 1936

(Conductor: Tullio Serafin)
Roxane soprano Maria Caniglia
La duègne mezzo-soprano Agnese Dubbini
Soeur Marthe mezzo-soprano Edmea Limberti
Lisa soprano Matilde Arbuffo
Cyrano de Bergerac tenor José Luccioni
De Guiche baritone Giuseppe Manacchini
Carbon baritone Giacomo Vaghi
De Valvert baritone Mario Bianchi
L'officer espagnol baritone Millo Marucci
Christian tenor Alessio De Paolis
Ragueneau bass-baritone Emilio Ghirardini
Le Bret bass-baritone Ernesto Dominici
Lignière baritone Saturno Meletti

Selected recordings

  • Opera d'Oro, a division of Allegro Corporation (OPD 1411): William Johns, Olivia Stapp, Ezio di Cesare; Maurizio Arena, conductor; recorded in Turin 1975
  • CPO 5210620: Manuela Uhl, Jennifer Arnold, Susanna Bernhard, Roman Sadnik, Wolfgang Newerla, Simon Pauly, Paul McNamara, Matthias Kelin, Bernd Gebhardt, Konstantin Heintel; Chorus of Kiel Opera; Kiel Philharmonic Orchestra; Markus Frank, conductor
  • Deutsche Grammophon 4688259 (DVD): Roberto Alagna, Nathalie Manfrino, Richard Troxell, Nicolas Rivenq, Marc Barrard, Jaël Azzaretti; Orchestre National de Montpellier; Marco Guidarini, conductor


  1. Sciannameo, Franco, "Turandot, Mussolini, and the Second String Quartet: Aspects of Alfano" (Winter 2002). The Musical Times, 143 (1881): pp. 27–41.

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