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opera in three acts

Music by Gian Carlo Menotti
Libretto by the composer
About Goya

Written for and at the suggestion of Placido Domingo, Goya is a rarity for Menotti, with a leading role for a lyric tenor. It was not well reviewed at its premiere, with the New York Times calling it a "stupefying exercise in banality." A revised version, premiered in 1991, has been better received.

Cast of Characters
Francisco Goya, t The Duchess D'Alba
Manuel Godoy The Queen of Spain
The King of Spain Martin Zapater
Oste Leocadia
A maid The major-domo
Chorus of penitents

In a tavern in Madrid, the young painter Goya, fresh from the provinces, meets and falls in love with the Duchess of Alba, who is disguised as a chambermaid. After she leaves, Goya is disgusted by the sight of a procession of Inquisitors and their prisoners. The next day, even after he discovers her true identity, he expresses his love for her as he paints her. The court, and especially the Queen, try to use Goya's influence to tame the wild Duchess, but this only leads to a fight between the lovers. The Duchess leaves Goya, and as the King takes the painter into the court, encouraging him to turn his art to religious subjects, Goya is suddenly struck with deafness. The Duchess is poisoned, apparently by the Queen, and Goya arrives too late to see her; but many years later, as he lies dying, reflecting on his life, he is visited by a vision of his long-dead love.

Discography Search for recordings of Goya at Amazon.com

Gian Carlo Menotti

Goya (same recordinng as the Nuove Era set)


CD / Opera D'Oro (1978)

Gian Carlo Menotti

Goya (first recording)


2 CD / Nuova Era 7060/61 (1978)

Bibliography Search for book about Goya at Amazon.com

Gian Carlo Menotti: "Ah, do not laugh" from Goya

Gian Carlo Menotti: "Oh, yes, I love her" from Goya

Gian Carlo Menotti: "Out of my dreams" from Goya


G. Schirmer American Opera Anthology: Tenor

G. Schirmer 2004

Last update: January 1, 2009