Edgar is an operatic dramma lirico in three acts (originally four acts) by Giacomo Puccini to an Italian libretto by Ferdinando Fontana, freely based on the play in verse La Coupe et les lèvres (The Cup and the Lips) by Alfred de Musset.
The first performance was given at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan on 21 April 1889. The opera was not a success. Puccini repeatedly revised it, before eventually giving up in frustration, declaring the work irredeemable.
Synopsis (three-act version)
Pure-hearted maiden Fidelia rejoices in the return of Edgar, who has been living a life of debauchery with the wild Tigrana, a woman who was who was abandoned by "wandering Moors" as a baby and brought up by Fidelia's father. Fidelia gives an awakening Edgar a sprig of almond blossoms, but leaves when she sees Tigrana approaching. Tigrana tries to tempt Edgar to return to their life of debauchery, but fails when Edgar avows he loves Fidelia's purity. Frank, who has always loved Tigrana, enters, but when he cannot win her affections, he berates her, and they argue.
After Tigrana mocks the villagers at prayer, they order her to leave the village. She retreats to Edgar's house, where he defends her from the angry crowd. He announces that he will go with her, and burns down his house before leaving. Frank attempts to stop them, and is wounded in a duel with Edgar. The villagers curse the fleeing lovers.
Edgar has left the wild orgy in Tigrana's house. He is tired of his life of debauchery and longs to return to Fidelia. Tigrana comes to him to entice him back to the party, but, just as she is about to succeed, a platoon of soldiers arrives. Edgar is surprised that Frank is leading them, and asks for forgiveness. Frank grants it happily because the fight actually had broken the hold Tigrana had on him. To escape from Tigrana, Edgar joins the platoon, despite her pleading. Tigrana swears revenge as the men leave her.
A large funeral procession carries the armored body of Edgar, who has fallen in battle. Frank and the crowd praise Edgar as a hero, but the monk who heard Edgar's dying confession denounces him. He reveals Edgar's sins and debauchery, and the crowd, easily swayed, curses Edgar. Only Fidelia stands up for Edgar and vows that she will meet him in heaven.
After the crowd leaves, Tigrana enters, crying. She is upset that no one will see her weeping for Edgar. Frank and the monk ask her to denounce Edgar, but she resists until they offer her jewels. The crowd returns. The monk claims that Edgar betrayed his country for some gold, and Tigrana reluctantly confirms this. The soldiers try to desecrate the body and discover it is only a suit of armor. The monk reveals that he is Edgar and goes to leave with Fidelia, the only one who remained true to him. The vengeful Tigrana stabs and kills Fidelia. Edgar weeps over the lifeless body as the soldiers capture Tigrana, and the crowd prays.