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La Sonnambula

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La Sonnambula

by Felice Romani

Genre: Operetta, Suspense
Format of Original Source: Plot summary
Recommended Adaptation Length: 60 Minutes

Candidate for Adaptation? Not Likely


The first act of the opera opens with the preparations for the marriage of Amina and Elvino. Lisa, the mistress of the inn, is also in love with Elvino and jealous of Amina. On the day before the wedding, Rodolfo, the young lord of the village, arrives to look after his estates, and puts up at the inn, where he meets Amina. He pays her many pretty compliments, much to the dissatisfaction of Elvino, who is inclined to quarrel with him. After Rodolfo retires to his chamber, Amina, who is addicted to sleep-walking, enters the room and throws herself upon the bed as if it were her own. She is seen not only by Rodolfo, but also by Lisa, who has been vainly seeking to captivate him. To escape the embarrassment of the situation, Rodolfo quietly goes out; but the malicious Lisa hastens to inform Elvino of what Amina has done, at the same time thoughtlessly leaving her handkerchief in Rodolfo’s room. Elvino rushes to the spot with other villagers, finds Amina as Lisa had described, denounces her, and offers himself to the latter.


Sleepwalking heroine; not enough story or conflict here upon which to hang a new musical.


A word of caution: This plot summary was written by 19th-century literary critic George Upton, who often mixes personal opinion with summation. You would be advised to consult the original source material, if the general plot appeals to you.


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