L'Africaine (The African Woman) is an 1865 French grand opéra in five acts with music by Giacomo Meyerbeer and a libretto by Eugène Scribe. Meyerbeer and Scribe began working on the opera in 1837, using the title L'Africaine, but around 1852 changed the plot to portray fictitious events in the life of the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama and introduced the working title Vasco de Gama, the French version of his name. The copying of the full score was completed the day before Meyerbeer died in 1864.
The opera was premiered the following year by the Paris Opéra in a version made by François-Joseph Fétis, who restored the earlier title, L'Africaine. The Fétis version was published and was used for subsequent performances until 2013, when some productions and recordings began using Meyerbeer's preferred title, Vasco de Gama, for performing versions with revisions based on the manuscript score. In 2018 the music publisher Ricordi issued a critical edition of Meyerbeer's manuscript full score under that title.
The cast stars Shirley Verrett and Placido Domingo
Live recording from 1973 This recording is out of print!