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Gaetano Donizetti's Caterina Cornaro was one of the composer's last operas, immediately preceding the great Don Pasquale. It's a lyric tragedy that had promising subject matter: the titular Cypriot queen was an actual individual (1454-1510) who was deposed by the Republic of Venice and exiled with an appropriate amount of soprano lamentation. The opera bombed at its premiere in Naples, partly, Donizetti feared, because censors took a bite out of its dramatic coherence, and it lay untouched for another 130 years. Montserrat ...

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