(version with three acts and an epilogue)
In the courtyard of the Monastery of San Esteban in Salamanca, knights and a large crowd are awaiting the decision of the Council regarding Christopher Columbus’s proposed expedition. After they deem it implausible, Columbus is mocked and attacked. He is defended by Guevara, who tells the crowd to be quiet: Queen Isabella is praying inside the church. She was in favour of the voyage and when Columbus approaches her, she offers him the tiara of the crown to fund the trip. In the middle of the ocean, despondency spreads among the crews and they turn to prayer. Roldano and Matheos lead a mutiny and assault Columbus but suddenly fires are spotted on the horizon and there is a cry from the Pinta that land has been sighted. In a square in Palos, a number of Spanish knights are awaiting the return of Columbus. A statement is read in which Don Alonzo Martin claims that Columbus has grown rich with the spoils from the new lands, of which he has proclaimed himself king. Martin has already revealed that Columbus will soon dock in Palos and this subsequently happens. Isabella warns him that people are plotting against him. Guevara defends him once again, but Columbus is taken to prison. Columbus enters the royal chapel in Medina del Campo. He is suffering and Guevara would like to let Isabella know, but the arrival on stage of a funeral procession reveals that she has died. Columbus starts to talk deliriously about the sea, his voyages and himself. He feebly tells Guevara that he knows he is dying and soon afterwards he passes away.
→ A secular legend by Luca Zoppelli
→ Illica and the libretto by Virgilio Bernardoni
→ Set design by Mercedes Viale Ferrero