L’Africaine (The African Woman) is a grand opera in five acts, the last work of the composer Giacomo Meyerbeer. The French libretto by Eugène Scribe deals with fictitious events in the life of the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama. Meyerbeer began working on the libretto using the title L’Africaine, although his working title for the opera was Vasco de Gama at the time of his death in 1864, before he had prepared a final version. The opera had its first performance in a version made by François-Joseph Fétis at the Paris Opéra (Salle Le Peletier) on 28 April 1865. This version has been generally used, but some recent productions have used versions which reconstitute elements from Meyerbeer’s manuscript score and libretto.
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