First performed on 11 March 1837 at Teatro alla Scala, Milan. Il giuramento
is a tale of two women: Bianca and Elaisa. Before the curtain rises, Bianca s father captures Elaisa s father in battle and intends to kill him. Bianca successfully intercedes. For this Elaisa gives Bianca a sacred locket and pledges an oath (un giuramento) of eternal gratitude. Three men enter the story. First, Viscardo. He and Elaisa (who loves him) are searching, without realising it, for the same person: Elaisa for the woman who saved her father, and Viscardo for the unknown object of his affections - in both cases, Bianca. The second man is Manfredo, Duke of Syracuse, to whom Bianca has been given in marriage (against her will). The third man is the treacherous Brunoro in disgrace for his own advances to Bianca. Bianca loves neither this would-be lover nor her husband: she loves Viscardo. All but Bianca are present at a party in Manfredo s palace. The vengeful Brunoro brings Viscardo to Bianca s chambers where the two lovers are reunited. Then Elaisa arrives, also by Brunoro s design, and is enraged by Viscardo s betrayal until Bianca produces the sacred locket. Elaisa recognises Bianca as the woman to whom she pledged her oath. Finally Manfredo - tipped off by Brunoro - arrives in a fury, whereupon Elaisa, acting on her pledge, defends Bianca. Manfredo intends to murder Bianca. Elaisa persuades him to use poison and provides him with a potion which in fact will only induce a death-like sleep. Viscardo blames Elaisa for Bianca s apparent death and stabs her, just as Bianca starts to revive. Elaisa, her pledge fulfilled and her love unattainable, welcomes death.
Archive :: production:T339623159, opera or operetta:S01771908978, venue:V1850998411
Sung in Italian.