The Critical Edition of the works by Gaetano Donizetti has the purpose to offer a wider choice of music scores of the works by the composer, both accurate and ready to be executed.

In 2001 the Critical Edition received the title of Edizione Nazionale from the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities. The one dedicated to Donizetti is the first edition dedicated to a musician to receive such a prestigious recognition, and it is therefore compared to the one of the works by Dante and Petrarca.


The editorial plan has in program the inclusion of some of the works still in the repertory today, but also a choice of titles which are, for historical and musical reasons, quite important for our knowledge of Donizetti and the time when he lived.


When the work on the Critical Edition began, we expected the usual problems one can meet working on early nineteenth century Italian operas (a change in the instruments according to the late nineteenth and early twentieth century style, vocal lines modified by an accumulation of modifications by different executors, omissions and cuts, some spurious supplements and some tracks moved). What we expected proved real, and we even found out that Donizetti’s works have been transmitted to us in an even more corrupted way than we expected 20 or 30 years ago. Furthermore, the composer had a tendency to obsessively revise his works when he had to represent them in the most important squares. Thanks to the Critical Edition the works by the composer from Bergamo are brought closer to the original intent of the author, and they are purified from those practices and traditions which modified their original aspect. This Edition provides a set of readings and devices which enable future reconstructions, preserving the work in progress nature of the work. Through collation and confrontation of autographed sources, manuscripts, and printed copies the whole work by Donizetti is restored with an accuracy that is comparable to the one employed during the restoration of pictures or frescos of the greatest figurative artists.

For every title, this Edition provides a new version of its score, both in the orchestra and singers’ parts, and a critical work of rediscovery of the ways of representation meant for a more correct staging. The printed titles of scores and of sung and piano parts appear in the Edizione Nazionale of the works by Gaetano Donizetti, in a co-edition Ricordi-Fondazione Donizetti, therefore assuring an international diffusion, and a long-lasting and influent prestige upon the executive procedure of the works by Donizetti.


The titles which are already available have been represented in the most important theatres in Italy and in the world, among which Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Teatro La Fenice di Venezia, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Teatro San Carlo di Napoli, Teatro Regio di Torino, Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Festival della Valle d’Itria di Martina Franca, Teatro Donizetti di Bergamo, Covent Garden di Londra, Opéra di Parigi, Teatro da Camera di San Pietroburgo, San Francisco Opera, Teatro Real di Madrid, Gran Teatre del Liceu di Barcellona, Staatsoper di Vienna, Opéra di Montecarlo, Opéra Royal de Vallonie di Liegi.