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O. Mikhaylova

The concept of biblical historicism in the opera «The Great Flood» by G. Donizetti

The article is devoted to the study of the specifics of the embodiment of the Old Testament plot in the opera «The Great Flood» by G. Donizetti. The work is analyzed through the prism of the concept of biblical historicism. The latter reveals the main semantic idea of the Sacred Narrative, which determines the dramatic structure of the opera at all levels. It is noted that this concept is generally characteristic of the Italian opera genre of the first half of the 19th century. The Old Testament events in other operas of this period – «Cyrus in Babylon», «Moses» by G. Rossini and «Nebuchadnezzar» by G. Verdi – are recreated in its course. All the plots of these works are united by the idea of a historical turning point caused by the conflict situation and its subsequent resolution. The conflict, brought to the level of a «catastrophe», is connected with the idea of humanity’s violation of Divine Commandments and subsequent Punishment. The author considers the types of sources used by G. Donizetti when working with the libretto of the opera «The Great Flood», analyzes its conceptual idea, dramatic components, as well as the main images of the work. The biblical event underlying this opera is defined as a conflict event associated with the accumulation of sinful energy to its culminating limit. It is revealed that the drama of the opera is built on the conflict confrontation of two spheres – the sinful (the dying world led by Satrap Kadmo) and the righteous (the world being saved in the person of Noah and his family). Based on the analysis done, conclusions are drawn about the presence of two stage plans in the opera. The first is connected with the embodiment of a genuine biblical event, the second with its mythologized version, in which the theme of Divine punishment is revealed through the fate of individual fictional characters.

Key words

opera, The Great Flood, Noah, Donizetti, concept, biblical historicism, conflict event, libretto, Providence of God, predestination of the historical path.

For citation

Mikhaylova O. The concept of biblical historicism in the opera «The great flood» by G. Donizetti // South-Russian Musical Anthology. 2022. No. 2. Pp. 14-21.