Il giovedì grasso

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Il giovedì grasso
Farsa by Gaetano Donizetti
Donizetti Booklet.jpg
The young composer
Librettist Domenico Gilardoni
LanguageItalian
Based onFrench comedies
Premiere
26 February 1829 (1829-02-26)

Il giovedì grasso is a farsa in one act by Gaetano Donizetti, from a libretto by Domenico Gilardoni. The literal translation of the title is "Fat Thursday", a reference to Carnival celebration. The libretto was adapted from the French comedies Monsieur de Pourceaugnac by Molière and Le nouveau Pourceaugnac by Charles-Gaspard Delestre-Poirson and Eugène Scribe. The opera uses spoken dialogue rather than recitatives, and the buffo role is given in the Neapolitan language. The work premiered at the Teatro del Fondo in Naples on 26 February 1829.

Contents

Roles

RoleVoice typePremiere Cast, 26 February 1829
(Conductor: )
Ernesto Rousignactenor Giovanni Battista Rubini
Stefanina soprano Rosalinda Grossi
Nina contralto Adelaide Comelli-Rubini
Sigismondo bass Luigi Lablache
The Colonel baritone Giovanni Battista Campagnoli
Teodoro tenor Giovanni Arrigotti
Camilla mezzo-soprano Maria Carraro
ColabassGiovanni Pace

Synopsis

Time: 17th century
Place: "A house in the country, outside Paris" [1]

The lovers Nina and Teodoro are in despair since Nina is promised to another man, Ernesto. Their friend Sigismondo (who is mistakenly jealous of his wife Camilla) concocts a scheme to help the lovers. Inspired by Molière's Monsieur de Pourceaugnac, Sigismondo proposes that he and his wife will dress up as on "Fat Thursday". Then they will play tricks on Ernesto, whom they believe to be a mere simpleton, so that he will flee in confusion. Sigismondo will pose as a friend from Ernesto's past, and Camilla, as a former lover betrayed by Ernesto. When Ernesto arrives, he happens to learn of the scheme, and decides to turn the tables on the others. He refers to Sigismondo as his friend and to Camilla as his former and betrayed lover, which confirms Sigismondo in his misplaced suspicions. Only when Nina's father the Colonel is back does Ernesto confess to everyone that he, the simple village boy, has outwitted them. Ernesto consents to the wedding of Nina and Teodoro, Sigismondo promises never to be jealous, and all praise the carnival season.

Recordings

YearCast
(The Colonel,
Nina,
Teodoro,
Sigismondo)
Conductor,
Opera House and Orchestra
Label [2]
1970Federico Davià,
Jill Gomez,
Malcolm Williams,
Elfego Esparza
David Atherton,
Radio Teflis Éireann Symphony Orchestra
(A recording of a performance at the Wexford Festival)
Audio CD: Foyer
Cat: 1-CF 2036,
Memories
Cat: HR 4482
1971Saturno Meletti,
Mariella Devia,
Antonio Bevacqua,
Giorgio Gatti
Ottavio Ziino,
Orchestra Aidem di Firenze
33rpm LP: Voce
Cat: 110

1961 James Loomis (bass), Bruna Rizzoli (sop), Rodolfo Malacarne (ten), Nestore Catalani (bar), Orchestra della Radiotelevisione della Svizzera Italiana (Edwin Loehrer) Audio CD Nuovo Era (Membran) 232585 (released 2009)

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References

Notes

  1. Osborne 1994, p. 181
  2. Source for recording information: Recording(s) of Il giovedì grasso on operadis-opera-discography.org.uk

Sources