Opera: Fra Diavolo
Composer: D. F. E. Auber
Premiere: Paris, 1830.
Publication series: "Scraps From The Operas Arranged For Two Guitars By Justin Holland"
Number: 3 of 20
Scrap 1 (at 0:12): Allegro moderato.
This music is heard in Act 2 of 3 as Lorenzo and his soldiers return to the inn (for a second time; see scrap 3 below) while Fra Diavolo and two cohorts hide in Zerline's room with the intention of stabbing her and robbing the rich Lord and Lady in another room.
The music is heard again in the Finale to the last act, as Lorenzo and his soldiers close in on Diavolo.
Scrap 2 (at 1:07): Allegro cantabile.
The aria "Voyez sur cette roche" ("On yonder rock reclining") was very popular in the 19th century. It is from Act 1. Zerline, daughter of the innkeeper, tells of the exploits of Fra Diavolo, the bandit, to the "Marquis". The Marquis listens with evident terror. Not really - he himself is Fra Diavolo in disguise! The word fitting the big chords? "Tremble!"
The music is also used in the Entr'acte preceding Act 3, and again at the end of the opera as the principal characters express thanks for the capture of Diavolo.
Scrap 3 (at 2:33): Allegro.
This music accompanies the Finale of Act 1 in which Lorenzo and his soldiers return to the inn after capturing twenty of Fra Diavolo's band. The chorus shouts "Victory!" The band had robbed Lord Cockburn and his wife on the road. With his reward, Lorenzo now becomes an acceptable suitor for Zerline in the eyes of her father. Fra Diavolo, in the disguise of the "Marquis", does not share in the jubilation.
This music is heard again in the Finale to the last act while the peasants shout "Victory!" It is also used in the Fra Diavolo Overture, which is still played.
Justin Holland (1819-1887) was a 19th-century black American guitarist. He was the most important guitarist of his generation. Over 300 of his guitar arrangements were published. His earlier editions predate the Civil War. He would have been a household name to anyone who played guitar in that era of home music-making.
Moreover, Justin Holland devoted much of his life to working for the end of slavery and the advancement of his race. He participated in the operation of the Underground Railroad in Cleveland. He secured recognition of African-American Freemasons by white Freemasons in Europe. He joined other African-American leaders in local, state, and national Negro Conventions.
Guitar Primo (left) - Bob Wysong
Guitar Secondo (right) - Donald Sauter
Recorded: ca 2008
Credit: Sheet music from the collection of the Library of Congress. Photo of Santley as Diavolo from "The Standard Operas", George P. Upton, 1885/1926. Other stills from old copies of "The Victrola Book of the Opera" (5th through 10th editions, copyright 1919-1929.)
Feel free to download mp3s of the "opera scraps" at: http://www.donaldsauter.com/justin-ho...
More keywords: geraldine farrar charles santley tito schipa daniel françois esprit aubert