|Gianluca Margheri as Moralez in Fernand Cortez|
Following on from the triumph of Gaspare Spontini's opera Vestale, he was asked to compose a new opera for the Paris Opèra. The request came from Napoleon, whose favorite composer was Spontini.
|André Courville as the Mexican High Priest in Fernand Cortez|
Fernand Cortez made its debut at the Opèra on November 28, 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 Amazingly, guaranteed the opera its hoped-for success.
|Gianluca Margheri rehearsing Moralez in Fernand Cortez|
The opera was last performed at the Theater Erfurt in 2006. It had its premiere in the United States during the 1887-88 season at the Metropolitan opera with the Wagnerian tenor Albert Niemann and Swedish bass Johannes Elmblad. Remaining performances at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino are on October 16, 20 and 23. Tickets are available online.
A new production of the opera will be performed at the Theater Dortmund from May 21 through June 12, 2020.