Lyric Poem in 4 parts by A. Carlos Gomes
Music by A. Carlos Gomes, on a poem by Albino Falanca
Premiered Teatro alla Scala, Milan, February 21, 1891

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Characters and first performers:



Part I: Begins at the Convent of Rabida, Spain, on a cold and dark night. In the background, murmurs of sailors and fishermen are heard in the distance. Christopher Columbus, tormented, tells af his unhappy situation; his desires, he cannot seem to attain. This man from Genoa knocks on the convent door and confides to the priest of his dreams of the existence of lands sublime and unexplored where the sun sets. He tells of a mysterious young girl who had vanished and for whom divine vision nurtures a great love. The priest promises to take him to an audience with the monarchs of Spain.

Part II: the Royal Palace. King Fernando and Queen Isabel had just expelled the infidel Morros from the Iberian Peninsula. The Priest solicits the attention of fhe sovereign rulers to the proiects of the Genovese. The King is not convinced of the idea that there is another occidental culture world. Colombus is considered crazy as he promises gold and precious stones. The court of the Queen believes Columbus' words as a divine Province. The King concedes to Queen Isabel's appeal and offers the ships and the crew requested.

Part III: On the night of October 12, 1492, on high seas. a storm topples the principle mast and the ship is without bearings. Colombus asks his men to pray. The sea calms. a star appears in the sky. and the ship can be navigated again. A cannon fires, cries of "Hosanna" announces the sight of land.

Part lV: The last part occurs in three distinct places. First, on the tropical island just reached, an intermezzo of natives dancing happily. All the time. the sailors imitate the dance steps of the natives, they encourage and get the natives to return. Second, the Port of Barcelona, the people commemorate. Finally, Columbus is received at the palace by the sovereigns, and the opera ends with a vibrant and inspirational hymn to the New World.

Notes on Colombo:




A. Carlos Gomes
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