|Mattia Olivieri as Alphonse XI (right)|
La Favorite, which premiered at the Académie Royale de Musique in Paris on December 2, 1840 is one of the most important works in Donizetti’s French period. The opera is the second work in the genre composed after Les Martyrs and before Dom Sébastien, roi de Portugal, and was a huge success with Paris audiences.
The story revolves around a love triangle involving the King of Castile, Alfonso XI, his mistress ('the favorite') Leonora, and her lover Fernando. The story unfolds against the background of the Moorish invasions of Spain and power struggles between church and state.
Olivieri will return to the role in July, when he alternates the role with fellow barihunk Markus Werba at the Liceu Opera House in Barcelona. Additional information is available online.