Music composed by Gioachino Rossini. Libretto by Luigi Balocchi and Étienne de Jouy, Italian
translation by Calisto Bassi.

First Performance: 26 March 1827, Opéra, Paris

Principal Characters:
Mosè, the Hebrews’ lawgiver Bass
Elisero, his brother Tenor
Faraone, King of Egypt Bass
Aménofi, his son Tenor
Aufide, Egyptian officer Tenor
Osiride, High Priest Bass
Maria, sister of Mosè Mezzo-Soprano
Anaìde, her daughter Soprano
Sinaide, wife of Faraone Soprano
A mysterious voice Bass

Setting: Ancient Egypt


Moses promises to lead the Israelites out of captivity in Egypt. Anaïs and her mother have been
released by Pharoah on the intervention of Queen Sinaïs, who is sympathetic to the Israelites.
Anaïs loves Pharoah’s son, but intends to leave with her people, while her lover Amenophis has
decided she must stay. Moses brings upon Egypt the plague of darkness. This is raised, with
freedom again promised, while Pharoah has arranged a marriage for his son Amenophis with an
Assyrian princess, to his distress. The High Priest Osiris demands that Moses pay reverence to
Isis before the Israelites leave. Moses refuses and the Israelites are sent away in chains.
Amenophis and Anaïs meet, he still hoping that their love may be permitted. He warns her that
Pharoah’s army is pursuing the Israelites, who are now triumphantly led by Moses across the Red
Sea, while Pharoah’s men are drowned.

Rossini adapted his earlier opera Mosè in Egitto (Moses in Egypt) as Moïse et Pharaon, ou Le
passage de la Mer Rouge
(Moses and Pharoah, or The Passage of the Red Sea) for Paris, with a
new libretto, creating the necessary grand opera spectacle that France demanded. Staging of the
French version of the work makes obviously heavier demands on resources. This second opera
for Paris marks a further step by Rossini towards his fourth and final opera for the French capital,
Guillaume Tell (William Tell).

[Synopsis Source: Naxos]

Click here for the complete libretto.

image_description=Moses by Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (1659)
first_audio_name=Gioachino Rossini: MosË
Windows Media Player
second_audio_name=Gioachino Rossini: MosË
product_title=Gioachino Rossini: MosË
product_by=Nicola Rossi-Lemeni (MosË), Anita Cerquetti (Anaide), Agostino Lazzari (Elisero), Giuseppe Taddei (Faraone), Gianni Jaja (Amenofi), Tommaso Frascati (Aufide), Plinio Clabassi (Osiride), Anna Maria Rota (Maria), Rosanna Carteri (Sinaide), Coro e Orchestra della RAI di Roma, Tullio Serafin (cond.)
Live broadcast, 27 June 1956, Rome