Gaetano Donizetti opera lost for 200 years set for London premiere

Eight years of detective work will culminate in July’s first performance of ‘amazing’ tragedy by great Italian composer

Lucia Di Lammermoor






Diana Damrau and Charles Castronovo in Royal Opera’s 2016 production of Lucia Di Lammermoor, Donizetti’s best-known work.
Photograph: Tristram Kenton

A lost opera by one of the great Italian composers is to have its world premiere in London almost 180 years after it was written.

Gaetano Donizetti was a leading figure in 19th-century Italian music, along with Giuseppe Verdi and Vincenzo Bellini. His most famous work, Lucia di Lammermoor, written in 1835, is seen as one of the great European operas. But L’Ange de Nisida (The Angel of Nisida) – composed in the late 1830s after he moved to work in Paris – never saw the light of day. It was written for the city’s Théâtre de la Renaissance, but the company went bankrupt before it was premiered.

The opera was thought to have been lost until musicologist Candida Mantica, a PhD student at Southampton University, painstakingly located and deciphered the score’s fragments over eight years.

Mantica said she found some pages in Paris’s Bibliothèque Nationale, but they were scattered among 18 folders and in no specific order. The reconstruction involved archive research across Europe and the US. “I was able to identify about 470 pages of autograph music [in the composer’s hand] thanks to a draft copy of the libretto, which allowed me to establish their original order,” she added.

The work will be premiered on 18 July at Covent Garden by London-based Opera Rara, which performs and records rare and forgotten 19th-century operas, in partnership with the Royal Opera House.

L’Ange de Nisida is a romance, telling the story of a soldier, Leone, who is in love with his king’s mistress.

Gaetano Donizetti



Gaetano Donizetti in a portrait by Gennaro Ruo. Photograph: Getty

Sir Mark Elder, artistic director of Opera Rara and music director of the Hallé Orchestra, will conduct the performance. He told the Observer: “It’s a work of top quality. Very beautiful.” Donizetti used some of this music in later works, including 1840’s La Favorite, but Elder said: “Over half of [L’Ange] has never ever been heard, which is terribly exciting.”

He said it had some “very powerful scenes” and noted that, because it was designed for a smaller theatre, “there is a delicacy and intimacy about the writing that is gorgeous”.

Donizetti died in 1848, aged just 50, and his masterpieces also include the 1832 comedy L’Elisir d’Amore (The Elixir of Love).

Roger Parker, repertoire consultant to Opera Rara and music professor at King’s College, London, said: “For L’Ange to get as popular as Lucia di Lammermoor or L’Elisir d’Amore, that would be ambitious. Who knows what’s going to happen? But the musical quality is as good as anything he did. That’s the surprising thing about it. When operas are discovered, quite often you find they were undiscovered for good reason. But this one really is amazing music. It’s some of the best music that you’ll hear from Donizetti.”

He added: “All his other operas have been premiered now. This is the last one, and it’s one of the best.”

Donizetti’s letters of the period reflect his annoyance over his cancelled opera, and despair over the commissioning theatre company. In one he complains that: “The management were real donkeys.”

Parker believes that L’Ange de Nisida will “rewrite how we think about [Donizetti] as a composer, in particular about the breadth of his musical inspiration. It’s a curious mixture of the comic and the serious.”

Donizetti scholars knew of this opera, he said. “But they had no idea what it was like … So there was no discussion of it in any of the literature.”

He praised Mantica’s “astonishing” detective work: “Candida just went to Paris and kept finding another few bars. I think we’ve got more or less everything he wrote now.”

The opera is likely to last about two-and-a-half hours, excluding the interval. The soloists will include soprano Joyce El-Khoury as Sylvia. A live recording will be made for release next year. The premiere will be a concert performance rather than a full staging. Covent Garden is “a wonderful platform for bringing this unknown piece to people’s attention”, according to Elder. “I can imagine it being staged, absolutely.”

Gaetano Donizetti opera lost for 200 years set for London premiere

Eight years of detective work will culminate in July’s first performance of ‘amazing’ tragedy by great Italian composer

Lucia Di Lammermoor






Diana Damrau and Charles Castronovo in Royal Opera’s 2016 production of Lucia Di Lammermoor, Donizetti’s best-known work.
Photograph: Tristram Kenton

A lost opera by one of the great Italian composers is to have its world premiere in London almost 180 years after it was written.

Gaetano Donizetti was a leading figure in 19th-century Italian music, along with Giuseppe Verdi and Vincenzo Bellini. His most famous work, Lucia di Lammermoor, written in 1835, is seen as one of the great European operas. But L’Ange de Nisida (The Angel of Nisida) – composed in the late 1830s after he moved to work in Paris – never saw the light of day. It was written for the city’s Théâtre de la Renaissance, but the company went bankrupt before it was premiered.

The opera was thought to have been lost until musicologist Candida Mantica, a PhD student at Southampton University, painstakingly located and deciphered the score’s fragments over eight years.

Mantica said she found some pages in Paris’s Bibliothèque Nationale, but they were scattered among 18 folders and in no specific order. The reconstruction involved archive research across Europe and the US. “I was able to identify about 470 pages of autograph music [in the composer’s hand] thanks to a draft copy of the libretto, which allowed me to establish their original order,” she added.

The work will be premiered on 18 July at Covent Garden by London-based Opera Rara, which performs and records rare and forgotten 19th-century operas, in partnership with the Royal Opera House.

L’Ange de Nisida is a romance, telling the story of a soldier, Leone, who is in love with his king’s mistress.

Gaetano Donizetti



Gaetano Donizetti in a portrait by Gennaro Ruo. Photograph: Getty

Sir Mark Elder, artistic director of Opera Rara and music director of the Hallé Orchestra, will conduct the performance. He told the Observer: “It’s a work of top quality. Very beautiful.” Donizetti used some of this music in later works, including 1840’s La Favorite, but Elder said: “Over half of [L’Ange] has never ever been heard, which is terribly exciting.”

He said it had some “very powerful scenes” and noted that, because it was designed for a smaller theatre, “there is a delicacy and intimacy about the writing that is gorgeous”.

Donizetti died in 1848, aged just 50, and his masterpieces also include the 1832 comedy L’Elisir d’Amore (The Elixir of Love).

Roger Parker, repertoire consultant to Opera Rara and music professor at King’s College, London, said: “For L’Ange to get as popular as Lucia di Lammermoor or L’Elisir d’Amore, that would be ambitious. Who knows what’s going to happen? But the musical quality is as good as anything he did. That’s the surprising thing about it. When operas are discovered, quite often you find they were undiscovered for good reason. But this one really is amazing music. It’s some of the best music that you’ll hear from Donizetti.”

He added: “All his other operas have been premiered now. This is the last one, and it’s one of the best.”

Donizetti’s letters of the period reflect his annoyance over his cancelled opera, and despair over the commissioning theatre company. In one he complains that: “The management were real donkeys.”

Parker believes that L’Ange de Nisida will “rewrite how we think about [Donizetti] as a composer, in particular about the breadth of his musical inspiration. It’s a curious mixture of the comic and the serious.”

Donizetti scholars knew of this opera, he said. “But they had no idea what it was like … So there was no discussion of it in any of the literature.”

He praised Mantica’s “astonishing” detective work: “Candida just went to Paris and kept finding another few bars. I think we’ve got more or less everything he wrote now.”

The opera is likely to last about two-and-a-half hours, excluding the interval. The soloists will include soprano Joyce El-Khoury as Sylvia. A live recording will be made for release next year. The premiere will be a concert performance rather than a full staging. Covent Garden is “a wonderful platform for bringing this unknown piece to people’s attention”, according to Elder. “I can imagine it being staged, absolutely.”

These 6 Companies Have Some of the Best Possible Employee Benefits (Yes, They’re That Good)

Many people overlook the importance of a company's benefits when searching for a new job. It's easy to focus on the salary and title, but job seekers should remember that benefits make up about 30% of compensation. In fact, three-fourths of employees would stay with a company for their benefits package.

Intrigued? Inspired by Glassdoor's recent feature, check out some of the incredible benefits these companies offer. 

As a global communications platform, Fuze prioritizes allowing teams to work anywhere and stay in touch with their software. Employees can work where they perform best, even if it means at home. Plus, the company offers unlimited vacation days!

This company specializes in loyalty marketing, so it's no wonder that they keep employees loyal as well. Workers get unlimited vacation days, 100% paid medical coverage, catered lunches, and a month-long sabbatical after three years. Plus, it's a dog-friendly office!

It's no surprise that military and government workers get top-notch benefits. Two to four weeks of paid leave and ten federal paid holidays adds up to generous vacation time. Employees may also receive professional education, life insurance, or even home loans. Their competitive pay and matching 401(k) are nothing to scoff at either.

Brunswick manufactures exercise and recreational products, which reflects in their company culture. Their "Be Your Best program" allows workers to earn redeemable points for completing their fitness goals. Standing and treadmill desks ensure that they are always active even when working. Plus, their gracious paid time off allows employees to relax after long periods of work and exercise.

Last year, TQL celebrated their 20th anniversary by holding a week-long party that included everything from skydiving to rock climbing. Their CEO even chose two workers to have a helicopter tour with him. Plus, the company offers 401(k), tuition assistance, and professional training programs. 

Since the company focuses on well-being, provides employees receive health care for themselves, their dependents, and even their pets. Workers also receive professional development opportunities, a generous retirement plan, financial wellness resources, and a flexible program to accommodate a work-life balance. 

Awesome, right? Possible salt in the wound that they're all hiring, too. 

Is you need to subtly drop a hint to your boss that your company's benefit game needs to be 'upped', feel free to casually press that 'share' button -- it's a win/win.

These Top New York Attorneys Have Mastered the Art of Differentiation

I took to the [virtual] streets of New York City again in a quest to find more professionals in saturated industries that differentiate with a fierce value proposition. The formula is simple: Pick a big city and a crowded industry, and highlight top talent that is earning that title through their ability to differentiate. This time, I sought out a dense field, attorneys, with over 175,000 resident lawyers in the state of NY.

Differentiating through their individual expertise, digital branding, content narrative, or specialized services, these attorneys & respective firms are setting the 'bar' (pun intended), which will hopefully inspire you to think differently, whether you're in a crowded industry or not. 

#1. Jon Avidor -- Startup.Law

Differentiator: [Startup]Law as a Service

With fee offerings like subscription-based pricing, fee deferrals, equity compensation, and flat fees, Startup.Law is laser-focused on targeting those in the startup and venture growth sector. Their 'formation-to-exit' strategy allows them to assist clients with launching profitable ventures and accelerating business growth.

Expertise: corporate formation & governance, M&A, real-estate private equity, priced equity financing

The boutique firm is embedded with SilverTech Ventures (the tech arm of billionaire investor Larry Silverstein) and is known to service a limited client list by referral only. Founder Jon Avidor is best known for his work with white-shoe M&A leader Sullivan & Cromwell in NYC and tech powerhouse Goodwin LLP in Silicon Valley representing companies like Goldman Sachs and Replay Technologies in high-profile transactions.

#2. Len Gray -- Gray Legal

Differentiator: digital empowerment 

From their trendy domain name to their highly digital web experience, Gray Legal defies the stereotypical 'legal' website, while still evoking a trust with the visitor. It elicits the type of response that makes you say, 'Hey, I'd like to grab a drink with these guys & gals.

Expertise: corporate, IP, employment, commercial, fashion & entertainment

Partner, Len Gray, is all too familiar with the pain points of legalities when it comes to starting your own business, having founded two companies on his own. After working in Big Law, he took all of his knowledge and created a modern "digital legal firm" for the new age CEO. His biggest selling point? Gray Legal aims to be a 'full-service' boutique for their clients, handling the areas of law they're most likely to encounter in their first few years.

#3. David Sorin -- McCarter & English Attorneys at Law

Differentiator: client intelligence 

McCarter & English distinguish themselves by providing business analysis and client intelligence as part and parcel of their legal counsel. They monitor industry changes that can impact their clients' business goals and make sure their client-first philosophy is part of every strategy and business recommendation they make. They're trend hunters -- and that's really cool. 

Expertise: venture capital financing (VC), intellectual property (IP), cyber, data privacy 

With approximately 400 lawyers in powerhouse cities like Washington, DC, Boston, and New York City, McCarter & English Attorneys at Law have been in business for over 170 years and their vast legal experience shows in the services they offer.

#4. Dmitriy Ishimbayev -- Ishimbayev Law Firm

Differentiator: packaged payment plans 

Offering payment plans for startups requiring legal services, the Ishimbayev Law Firm differentiates themselves by providing packaged law services to meet the needs of their target market. 

Expertise: startups, cryptocurrency, IP, corporate, internet & technology, franchise

Founder Dmitriy Ishimbayev's accolades speak for themselves - being named a "Super Lawyer Rising Star" by Thomas Reuters, a distinction reserved for only 2.5% of all attorneys in the New York Metro area. His model provides clients with a packaged-style payment plan, perfect for the CEO on a tight budget.

#5. Matthew Murphy -- Murphy Bova LLP 

Differentiator: client empowerment as a service

The team at Murphy Bova LLP want to be more than just legal counsel. They want to be your business counselor and empower you to grow your company to exceed your expectations. Think of their approach to business development and client relations as client empowerment as a service.

Expertise: entity formation, equity agreements, franchising, debt & equity financing, M&A, venture

Murphy Bova focuses on not only protecting their clients' legal interests, but also facilitating in closing business transactions. They work with everyone from entrepreneurs and startups to small businesses and high-growth companies to assist with both their legal and business needs.

#6. Bill Samuels -- Scarinci Hollenbeck

Differentiator: cost-effective solutions and alternative fee agreements

The team at Scarinci Hollenbeck understand their clients' top priorities are results and price. To this end, they offer alternative fee agreements and cost-effective solutions to ensure they're maximizing their efforts on behalf of their legal clients.

Expertise: corporate, environmental, IP, labor & employment, litigation, trust & estate

Bill Samuels is a seasoned intellectual property attorney who devotes his practice to tailoring strategies and protection plans to achieve each respective client's goals and business objectives. As such, he's armed with deep experience in strategy development, defense, enforcement, and maintenance of intellectual property protection plans. 

#7. John Benemerito -- Benemerito Attorneys at Law

Differentiator: ease of legal understanding on hyper-focused markets

Benemerito Attorneys focus on exceeding their clients' expectations while making the legal process easy to understand (which can be quite difficult, to say the least). Their down-to-earth approach makes them a 'go-to' for startups and entrepreneurs.

Expertise: IP, immigration law, real-estate

Benemerito Attorneys at Law focus solely on working with entrepreneurs and startups. Their clients are from a range of industries and range from bootstrapped startups to multi-million dollar companies. 

#8. Matthew Moisan --. Moisan Legal

Differentiator: client alignment and providing diverse core competencies

Moisan Legal's competency depth is a true strength. They offer a deep range of services to their clients, who are some of the top entrepreneurs in the region. You can tell Moisan genuinely cares about the startups they work with.

Expertise: entertainment, licensing, IP, contract, VC financing, M&A

Based in Manhattan, Moisan Legal represents companies and individuals who challenge the norm, demand creative thinking, and value strategic planning. Their clients span every stage of the traditional tech stages within a variety of verticals. 

#9. Sarah Corstange -- Corstange Law Group 

Differentiator: fee transparency

Working in immigration law for startups and small businesses, Corstange highlights on up-front pricing, which is a huge selling point. Startup founders and small business owners won't be surprised by rising legal costs for their immigration cases, thanks to an easy-to-understand fee schedule.

Expertise: Immigration law

Corstange Law Group offers creative immigration solutions for founders, employees, and investors throughout the startup lifecycle. Clients span a wide variety of verticals including Adtech, Edtech, Social Media, AI/VR, E-commerce, Fintech, Medtech and range from bootstrapped solopreneurs working in the proverbial garage, to global companies seeking growth capital. 

Understanding how to differentiate yourself in a crowded market is critical for business success -- successfully navigate those waters here and just imagine how much easier it will be in a niche category. These 9 show that not only is differentiation possible, it can be a crucial selling factor when building a thriving product, business, or brand.

These Top New York Attorneys Have Mastered the Art of Differentiation

I took to the [virtual] streets of New York City again in a quest to find more professionals in saturated industries that differentiate with a fierce value proposition. The formula is simple: Pick a big city and a crowded industry, and highlight top talent that is earning that title through their ability to differentiate. This time, I sought out a dense field, attorneys, with over 175,000 resident lawyers in the state of NY.

Differentiating through their individual expertise, digital branding, content narrative, or specialized services, these attorneys & respective firms are setting the 'bar' (pun intended), which will hopefully inspire you to think differently, whether you're in a crowded industry or not. 

#1. Jon Avidor -- Startup.Law

Differentiator: [Startup]Law as a Service

With fee offerings like subscription-based pricing, fee deferrals, equity compensation, and flat fees, Startup.Law is laser-focused on targeting those in the startup and venture growth sector. Their 'formation-to-exit' strategy allows them to assist clients with launching profitable ventures and accelerating business growth.

Expertise: corporate formation & governance, M&A, real-estate private equity, priced equity financing

The boutique firm is embedded with SilverTech Ventures (the tech arm of billionaire investor Larry Silverstein) and is known to service a limited client list by referral only. Founder Jon Avidor is best known for his work with white-shoe M&A leader Sullivan & Cromwell in NYC and tech powerhouse Goodwin LLP in Silicon Valley representing companies like Goldman Sachs and Replay Technologies in high-profile transactions.

#2. Len Gray -- Gray Legal

Differentiator: digital empowerment 

From their trendy domain name to their highly digital web experience, Gray Legal defies the stereotypical 'legal' website, while still evoking a trust with the visitor. It elicits the type of response that makes you say, 'Hey, I'd like to grab a drink with these guys & gals.

Expertise: corporate, IP, employment, commercial, fashion & entertainment

Partner, Len Gray, is all too familiar with the pain points of legalities when it comes to starting your own business, having founded two companies on his own. After working in Big Law, he took all of his knowledge and created a modern "digital legal firm" for the new age CEO. His biggest selling point? Gray Legal aims to be a 'full-service' boutique for their clients, handling the areas of law they're most likely to encounter in their first few years.

#3. David Sorin -- McCarter & English Attorneys at Law

Differentiator: client intelligence 

McCarter & English distinguish themselves by providing business analysis and client intelligence as part and parcel of their legal counsel. They monitor industry changes that can impact their clients' business goals and make sure their client-first philosophy is part of every strategy and business recommendation they make. They're trend hunters -- and that's really cool. 

Expertise: venture capital financing (VC), intellectual property (IP), cyber, data privacy 

With approximately 400 lawyers in powerhouse cities like Washington, DC, Boston, and New York City, McCarter & English Attorneys at Law have been in business for over 170 years and their vast legal experience shows in the services they offer.

#4. Dmitriy Ishimbayev -- Ishimbayev Law Firm

Differentiator: packaged payment plans 

Offering payment plans for startups requiring legal services, the Ishimbayev Law Firm differentiates themselves by providing packaged law services to meet the needs of their target market. 

Expertise: startups, cryptocurrency, IP, corporate, internet & technology, franchise

Founder Dmitriy Ishimbayev's accolades speak for themselves - being named a "Super Lawyer Rising Star" by Thomas Reuters, a distinction reserved for only 2.5% of all attorneys in the New York Metro area. His model provides clients with a packaged-style payment plan, perfect for the CEO on a tight budget.

#5. Matthew Murphy -- Murphy Bova LLP 

Differentiator: client empowerment as a service

The team at Murphy Bova LLP want to be more than just legal counsel. They want to be your business counselor and empower you to grow your company to exceed your expectations. Think of their approach to business development and client relations as client empowerment as a service.

Expertise: entity formation, equity agreements, franchising, debt & equity financing, M&A, venture

Murphy Bova focuses on not only protecting their clients' legal interests, but also facilitating in closing business transactions. They work with everyone from entrepreneurs and startups to small businesses and high-growth companies to assist with both their legal and business needs.

#6. Bill Samuels -- Scarinci Hollenbeck

Differentiator: cost-effective solutions and alternative fee agreements

The team at Scarinci Hollenbeck understand their clients' top priorities are results and price. To this end, they offer alternative fee agreements and cost-effective solutions to ensure they're maximizing their efforts on behalf of their legal clients.

Expertise: corporate, environmental, IP, labor & employment, litigation, trust & estate

Bill Samuels is a seasoned intellectual property attorney who devotes his practice to tailoring strategies and protection plans to achieve each respective client's goals and business objectives. As such, he's armed with deep experience in strategy development, defense, enforcement, and maintenance of intellectual property protection plans. 

#7. John Benemerito -- Benemerito Attorneys at Law

Differentiator: ease of legal understanding on hyper-focused markets

Benemerito Attorneys focus on exceeding their clients' expectations while making the legal process easy to understand (which can be quite difficult, to say the least). Their down-to-earth approach makes them a 'go-to' for startups and entrepreneurs.

Expertise: IP, immigration law, real-estate

Benemerito Attorneys at Law focus solely on working with entrepreneurs and startups. Their clients are from a range of industries and range from bootstrapped startups to multi-million dollar companies. 

#8. Matthew Moisan --. Moisan Legal

Differentiator: client alignment and providing diverse core competencies

Moisan Legal's competency depth is a true strength. They offer a deep range of services to their clients, who are some of the top entrepreneurs in the region. You can tell Moisan genuinely cares about the startups they work with.

Expertise: entertainment, licensing, IP, contract, VC financing, M&A

Based in Manhattan, Moisan Legal represents companies and individuals who challenge the norm, demand creative thinking, and value strategic planning. Their clients span every stage of the traditional tech stages within a variety of verticals. 

#9. Sarah Corstange -- Corstange Law Group 

Differentiator: fee transparency

Working in immigration law for startups and small businesses, Corstange highlights on up-front pricing, which is a huge selling point. Startup founders and small business owners won't be surprised by rising legal costs for their immigration cases, thanks to an easy-to-understand fee schedule.

Expertise: Immigration law

Corstange Law Group offers creative immigration solutions for founders, employees, and investors throughout the startup lifecycle. Clients span a wide variety of verticals including Adtech, Edtech, Social Media, AI/VR, E-commerce, Fintech, Medtech and range from bootstrapped solopreneurs working in the proverbial garage, to global companies seeking growth capital. 

Understanding how to differentiate yourself in a crowded market is critical for business success -- successfully navigate those waters here and just imagine how much easier it will be in a niche category. These 9 show that not only is differentiation possible, it can be a crucial selling factor when building a thriving product, business, or brand.

FA Cup quarter-final draw – Leicester to face Chelsea, Man Utd draw Brighton

Your Business Can Accept Bitcoin Right Now

There's currently around $200 billion of bitcoin floating around in people's digital wallets. For many of their owners, those bitcoins have proved to be a valuable asset. They're happy to leave them to rise in value and build up their wealth. For others though, those giant piles of coins are exactly what they're supposed to be: a currency that they want to exchange for goods and services.

But businesses are reluctant to accept them. In July last year, Bloomberg reported that just three of the Internet's top 500 retailers were willing to accept the cryptocurrency. The biggest reason is clear enough. When the payment you take for a product can lose as much as a quarter of its value within a week, pricing becomes difficult. A seller that paid $80 for a product and sold it online for $100 in bitcoin could find that he has only $75 a week later--and no business at all not long afterwards. On the other hand, they could find that they've earned an additional 10 percent the day after the sale with no extra effort.

While those fluctuations are exciting, business owners tend to want stability. They want to be sure that the payments they receive for their goods and services cover their costs and deliver a reliable profit. It's the only way that they can stay in business.

So how can you take advantage of the availability of billions of dollars of a new currency without leaving yourself vulnerable to the currency's volatility? How can your business join the cryptocurrency world and accept bitcoin risk-free?

There are options and smart businesses are making good use of them. In 2013, a man in Florida called a Lamborghini dealership in Newport County, CA and asked if he could buy a Tesla from them using bitcoin. Other dealers had already turned him down, he said. The dealership was cautious. The car cost $103,000. But the company didn't want to reject a sale so it accepted the payment using Bitpay. The buyer paid 91.4 bitcoins and the seller received the money in dollars. According to CNN, news of the sale prompted ten more potential buyers to call the dealership.

Bitpay still allows businesses to accept payments while receiving fiat. Users of bitcoin transfer their payments using the company's payment platform. The firm locks in an exchange rate and delivers fiat to the seller's bank account. Companies can advertise to wealthy bitcoin owners and accept their payments without exposing themselves to the coin's volatility.

A number of other companies now offer a similar service. CoinGate extends the acceptance to more than 40 different kinds of altcoins with instant conversion to euros or dollars.

These tools, and more are surfacing, allow business to accept bitcoins risk-free. They can also allow businesses to receive their payments in bitcoin. While that brings back the risk, it's worth noting that if the Newport Beach car dealer had kept the bitcoin, he would have sold that Tesla for around $1.5 million in today's money. Some risks might well be worth taking.