At the head of the Giant's Staircase, where Marino Faliero
was beheaded, and where the Doges were crowned in ancient times, two small slits in the stone wall were pointed out--two harmless, insignificant orifices that would never attract a stranger's attention--yet these were the terrible Lions' Mouths
Marino Faliero was Donizetti's fiftieth opera, commissioned by Rossini for Paris but somewhat overshadowed by Rossini's other commission that season--Bellini's I Puritani.
If this were the only production of Marino Faliero available on DVD any concerns would be moot.
BYRON'S VENETIAN TRAGEDIES, MARINO FALIERO AND THE TWO FOSCARI with their almost obsessive adherence to the neo-classical unities and their minute attention to historical detail, seem to be his least adventurous dramatic projects and have thus been taken as evidence that, despite his protestations to the contrary, Byron was indeed interested in writing plays that would be amenable to the contemporary theater.
His characters very often "perform" their historical roles as though they were on a vast historical stage, as when Marino Faliero gives a prophetic speech about the future of the Venetian republic while claiming to "speak to Time and Eternity .
Both plays represent numerous scenes of suppressed historical records, such as the black veil that will conceal the portrait of Marino Faliero because of his crime against the state.
Each play depicts a Doge of Venice who is caught in a uniquely tragic situation; Doge Marino Faliero is driven to conspire against the state he nominally leads, while Doge Francis Foscari is forced to allow the state to torture, exile and ultimately cause the death of his son, Jacopo.
These bodies function very differently in the two plays; Marino Faliero is centrally concerned with the unruly, revolutionary body, which is ultimately beheaded in a way that raises the possibility of a return of the repressed.
The action of Marino Faliero is instigated by a piece of graffiti carved into the ducal throne that slanders the virtue of Angiolina, the Doge's wife.
In the review of Opera Orchestra of New York's production of Marino Faliero
in the Fall issue, we mistakenly referred to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
Eve Queler assembled a distinctive cast for Marino Faliero
, able to cope with its extreme vocal demands, which are probably one reason for its relative obscurity.
Part 2 of Closet Performances argues that Manfred, Sardanapalus, Prometheus Unbound, Marino Faliero
, and Hellas represent an "almost desperate effort made by a later polite radicalism to co-opt and dominate its more successful plebeian equivalent" and, even more largely, that "radical writing was quickly re-invented, in the face of its continued political repression, once the wartime patriotism creating its cultural suppression had expired" (112).