Gli equivoci

Last updated
Stephen Storace Stephen Storace.jpg
Stephen Storace

Gli equivoci (The Misunderstandings), is an Italian opera buffa by Stephen Storace to a libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte, based on Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors .


Following the success of his libretto for The Marriage of Figaro , Da Ponte was asked by Storace to provide for him a libretto based on Shakespeare. Da Ponte compressed Shakespeare's plot into two acts, but retained nearly all the key elements. Gli equivoci was the second of Storace's operas to be performed at the Burgtheater.

Storace composed the opera following the success of his opera Gli sposi malcontenti in the previous year.

Storace reused some of the music of Gli equivoci in his English operas, including No Song, No Supper and The Pirates .

Performance history

The opera was first performed on 27 December 1786 in the Burgtheater, Vienna.


Roles, voice types, premiere cast
Role Voice type Premiere cast, 27 December 1786 [1]
Eufemio of Syracuse, son of Egeon and twin brother of Eufemio of Ephesus tenor Vincenzo Calvesi
Dromio of Syracuse, servant of Eufemio of Syracuse and twin brother of Dromio of Ephesus baritone
Eufemio of Ephesus, son of Egeon and twin brother of Eufemio of Syracusetenor Michael Kelly
Dromio of Ephesus, servant of Eufemio of Ephesus and twin brother of Dromio of Syracuse baritone
Silinus, Duke of Ephesusbaritone
Egeon, a merchant from Syracusebaritone
Sofronia, wife of Eufemio of Ephesus soprano Nancy Storace
Sostrate, sister of Sofroniasoprano
Angelo, a goldsmithbaritone
Lesbia, wife of Dromio of Syracusesoprano
Dromia, young child of Lesbia and Dromio of Syracusesoprano

Related Research Articles

<i>The Comedy of Errors</i> Play by William Shakespeare

The Comedy of Errors is one of William Shakespeare's early plays. It is his shortest and one of his most farcical comedies, with a major part of the humour coming from slapstick and mistaken identity, in addition to puns and word play. The Comedy of Errors is, along with The Tempest, one of only two Shakespeare plays to observe the Aristotelian principle of unity of time—that is, that the events of a play should occur over 24 hours. It has been adapted for opera, stage, screen and musical theatre numerous times worldwide. In the centuries following its premiere, the play's title has entered the popular English lexicon as an idiom for "an event or series of events made ridiculous by the number of errors that were made throughout".

<i>La clemenza di Tito</i> Opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

La clemenza di Tito, K. 621, is an opera seria in two acts composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to an Italian libretto by Caterino Mazzolà, after Pietro Metastasio. It was started after most of Die Zauberflöte, the last of Mozart's principal operas, had already been written. The work premiered on 6 September 1791 at the Estates Theatre in Prague.

Stephen Storace

Stephen John Seymour Storace was an English composer of the Classical era, known primarily for his operas. His sister was the famous opera singer Nancy Storace.

Vicente Martín y Soler Spanish composer

Anastasio Martín Ignacio Vicente Tadeo Francisco Pellegrin Martín y Soler was a Spanish composer of opera and ballet. Although relatively obscure now, in his own day he was compared favorably with his contemporary and admirer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, as a composer of opera buffa. In his time he was called "Martini lo spagnuolo" ; in modern times, he has been called "the Valencian Mozart". He was known primarily for his melodious Italian comic operas and his work with Lorenzo Da Ponte in the late 18th century, as well as the melody from Una cosa rara quoted in the dining scene of Mozart's Don Giovanni.

Lorenzo Da Ponte Italian, later American, opera librettist, poet and Roman Catholic priest (1749–1838)

Lorenzo Da Ponte was an Italian, later American, opera librettist, poet and Roman Catholic priest. He wrote the libretti for 28 operas by 11 composers, including three of Mozart's most celebrated operas: The Marriage of Figaro (1786), Don Giovanni (1787), and Così fan tutte (1790).

La fausse esclave is an opéra comique in one act by Christoph Willibald Gluck. Its French-language libretto based on Louis Anseaume and Pierre-Augustin Lefèvre de Marcouville's libretto for La fausse aventurière, an opéra comique by Jean-Louis Laruette. It was first performed on 8 January 1758 at the Burgtheater in Vienna. The full score is lost, but a keyboard version is extant.

<i>Tarare</i> (opera) Opera by Antonio Salieri

Tarare is an opéra composed by Antonio Salieri to a French libretto by Pierre Beaumarchais. It was first performed by the Paris Opera at the Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin on 8 June 1787. Salieri also reworked the material into an Italian version retitled Axur, re d'Ormus with libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte, which opened in Vienna in January 1788.

<i>Axur, re dOrmus</i> Opera by Antonio Salieri

Axur, re d'Ormus is an operatic dramma tragicomico in five acts by Antonio Salieri. The libretto was by Lorenzo Da Ponte. Axur is the Italian version of Salieri's 1787 French-language work Tarare which had a libretto by Beaumarchais.

<i>The Pirates</i> (opera)

The Pirates is an opera by composer Stephen Storace with an English libretto by James Cobb. The work was partly adapted from Storace's 1786 opera Gli equivoci and is remarkable as affording one of the earliest instances of the introduction of a grand finale into an English opera. The work premiered at the Haymarket Theatre on November 21, 1792. The opera became a huge success and is considered by many music critics to be Storace's best composition. It was chosen as the starring prima buffa to be performed for King George III at the King's Theatre, London on 16 May 1794.

<i>Larbore di Diana</i>

L'arbore di Diana, is an opera in two acts composed by Vicente Martín y Soler, with an original libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte. It premiered at the Burgtheater in Vienna on 1 October 1787.

<i>Fra i due litiganti il terzo gode</i>

Fra i due litiganti il terzo gode is a dramma giocoso in two acts by Giuseppe Sarti. The libretto was after Carlo Goldoni's Le nozze.

<i>La fiera di Venezia</i> Opera by Antonio Salieri

La fiera di Venezia is a three-act opera buffa, described as a commedia per musica, by Antonio Salieri, set to an Italian libretto by Giovanni Gastone Boccherini.

<i>Torvaldo e Dorliska</i> Opera by Gioachino Rossini

Torvaldo e Dorliska is an operatic dramma semiserio in two acts by Gioachino Rossini to an Italian libretto by Cesare Sterbini, based on the novel/memoir Les Amours du chevalier de Faublas (1787–1790) by the revolutionary Jean-Baptiste Louvet de Couvrai, whose work was the source of the Lodoïska libretto set by Luigi Cherubini (1791), and Lodoiska set by Stephen Storace (1794), and Simon Mayr (1796).

<i>Una cosa rara</i>

Una cosa rara, ossia Bellezza ed onestà is an opera by the composer Vicente Martín y Soler. It takes the form of a dramma giocoso in two acts. The libretto, by Lorenzo Da Ponte, is based on the play La luna de la sierra by Luis Vélez de Guevara. The opera was first performed at the Burgtheater, Vienna, on 17 November 1786. It was a huge success and was shown 78 times. Mozart quotes a melody from this opera, "O quanto un sì bel giubilo", in the orchestral accompaniment to the trio "Già la mensa è preparata" of the finale of Don Giovanni.

<i>Giulietta e Romeo</i> (Vaccai) 1825 tragedia lirica by Nicola Vaccai

Giulietta e Romeo is an opera in two acts by the Italian composer Nicola Vaccai. The libretto, by Felice Romani, is based on the tragedy of the same name by Luigi Scevola and, ultimately, on the 1530 novella of the same name by Luigi Da Porto. It was first performed at the Teatro alla Canobbiana, Milan, on 31 October 1825. It was Vaccai's last major success, although he wrote another nine operas, and is rarely performed in its full version today.

<i>Il burbero di buon cuore</i>

Il burbero di buon cuore is an opera dramma giocoso in two acts by Vicente Martín y Soler. The Italian libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte is based on the French comedy Le bourru bienfaisant by Carlo Goldoni.

Vincenzo Calvesi Italian opera singer

Vincenzo Calvesi was an Italian operatic tenor and impresario. A skillful lyric tenor, he began his career performing in opera houses in Italy during the 1770s. He was active in Dresden in 1782 to 1783 and then spent most of his time performing in Vienna from 1785 to 1794. He is best remembered today for creating the role of Ferrando in the world premiere of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Così fan tutte in 1790. That same year the Viennese publication Grundsätze zur Theaterkritik described him as "one of the best tenors from Italy…with a voice naturally sweet, pleasant and sonorous." He was later active in Rome as an impresario up until 1811.

<i>La capricciosa corretta</i>

La capricciosa corretta is a comic opera in two acts composed by Vicente Martín y Soler. The libretto is by Lorenzo Da Ponte and has a plot which has a slight similarity to William Shakespeare's play The Taming of the Shrew, but is not based on it. The story takes place over a 24-hour period and examines the marriage of an older man to his vain and capricious second wife whose antics make her husband, stepchildren, and servants miserable until she is finally brought to heel through the machinations of her husband's major domo. The opera premiered under the title La scuola dei maritati at the King's Theatre in London on 27 January 1795 to considerable success. It was later performed throughout Europe under the alternative titles Gli sposi in contrasto, La moglie corretta, and La capricciosa corretta—the title used by Da Ponte and the one by which it is known today.

<i>Gli sposi malcontenti</i>

Gli sposi malcontenti is an opera buffa in 2 acts composed by Stephen Storace to an Italian libretto by Gaetano Brunati.


  1. Casaglia, Gherardo (2005). "Gli equivoci, 27 December 1786" . L'Almanacco di Gherardo Casaglia (in Italian).