VERDI: Giovanna d’Arco

First Performance: 15 February 1845, Teatro alla Scala, Milan

Principal Characters:
Carlo VII, King of France Tenor
Giovanna, daughter of Giacomo Soprano
Giacomo, shepherd in Dom-Remi Baritone
Delil, an official of the King Tenor
Talbot, Supreme Commander of the English Bass

Setting: France during the Hundred Years’ War


The action takes place in the village of Dom-Remy, where Giovanna was
born, then in Reims and near Rouen during the Hundred Yearsí War, in 1429.
Loosely based on historical events, the drama has as its protagonist the
shepherdess Giovanna. Urged by a group of angels who have appeared to her in
a dream, she persuades the King, Carlo VII, to put her in command of the
French troops, which she then leads to victory against the English. Suspected
of witchcraft by her father Giacomo, she is handed over by him to the enemy
to be burnt at the stake. She implores Godís help and Giacomo, realizing
that he has accused her unjustly, frees her shortly before the decisive
conflict. Giovanna rushes into the fray, and the French troops led by her
rout the enemy. But the Kingís joy is short-lived because he is in love
with the heroine who has been wounded in battle. Before dying, she sees the
heavens open and the Virgin Mary comes to meet her.

Click here for
the complete libretto

image_description=Jeanne d’Arc (Centre Historique des Archives Nationales, Paris, AE II 2490)
first_audio_name=Giuseppe Verdi: Giovanna d’Arco
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product_title=Giuseppe Verdi: Giovanna d’Arco
product_by=Giovanna d’Arco: June Anderson
Carlo VII: Dennis O’Neill
Giacomo: Vladimir Chernov
Talbot: Jeremy White
Delil: John Dobson
Daniele Gatti (cond.)
Live performance, 5 July 1996, Royal Opera House, London