|Le convenienze ed inconvenienze teatrali|
|Opera by Gaetano Donizetti|
The composer c. 1835
|Other title||Viva la mamma|
|Based on||plays by Antonio Simone Sografi|
|Premiere||20 April 1831 (2-act version)|
Teatro alla Cannobiana in Milan
Le convenienze ed inconvenienze teatrali (Conventions and Inconveniences of the Stage), also known as Viva la mamma, is a dramma giocoso, or opera, in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti. The Italian libretto was written by Domenico Gilardoni, adapted from Antonio Simeone Sografi's plays Le convenienze teatrali (1794) and Le inconvenienze teatrali (1800).
The title refers to the convenienze , which were the rules relating to the ranking of singers (primo, secondo, comprimario) in 19th-century Italian opera, and the number of scenes, arias etc. that they were entitled to expect.
The opera was originally a one-act farsa based on Le convenienze teatrali; this version premiered at the Teatro Nuovo in Naples on 21 November 1827. Donizetti revised it and added recitatives and material from Le inconvenienze teatrali; this final version premiered at the Teatro alla Cannobiana in Milan on 20 April 1831.
20th century and beyond
Convenienze had its first major modern revival in 1963 in Siena,and has subsequently appeared in a number of translations and under various titles, most notably as Viva la mamma, a German adaptation presented in Munich in 1969.
In the UK, the first staged performance was not given until 9 April 1976 by an amateur company, the Harrow Opera Workshop,but that performance had been preceded by a 1969 BBC broadcast under the name of Upstage and Downstage and in 1972 Opera Rara, the recording company, produced the one-act version in English as The Prima Donna's Mother is a Drag. In the US, the first production was given in Terre Haute, Indiana on 2 April 1966
A 2004 production at the Opera of Monte Carlo starred June Anderson. In October 2009, the opera was performed at La Scala as Le Convenienze ed inconvenienze teatrali, under the direction of Marco Guidarini.
This opera was staged in 2017 in the Estates Theatre of the Czech National Theatre in Prague.
|Role||Voice type||Premiere Cast, |
20 April 1827
(Conductor: - )
|Daria Garbinati, prima donna||soprano||Fanny Corri-Paltoni|
|Procolo, her husband||bass||Cesare Badiali|
|Biscroma Strappaviscere, conductor,|
(literally, bowel ripper)
|Donna Agata Scannagalli, Luigia's mother,|
|Luigia Castragatti, seconda donna,|
(literally, cat castrator)
|Guglielmo Antolstoinoff, |
primo tenore, German
|Cesare Salsapariglia, |
druggist and poet
|Director of the Theatre||bass|
|Soldiers, servants, workmen|
A regional (and mediocre) operatic troupe is rehearsing a new work—Romulus and Ersilia—and faces numerous obstacles. The prima donna acts every bit the diva, refusing to rehearse. The German tenor cannot master either the lyrics or melodies. In the midst of much quarrelling, various singers threaten to walk out. The situation turns more dire with the arrival of Mamma Agata (a baritone role), the mother of the seconda donna. She insists on a solo for her daughter and even issues detailed demands on the musical arrangement of the aria. When the German tenor refuses to go on, he is replaced by the prima donna's husband. The show eventually collapses, and rather than pay back all the investors (whose money has already been spent), the company flees the town under cover of night.
Prima Donna, Luigia,
Opera House and Orchestra
|1976|| Leo Nucci,|
Daniela Mazzucato (Meneghini),
| Carlo Franci |
Vienna State Opera Orchestra and Chorus
(Recording of a performance in the Theater am Kornmarkt, Bregenz as part of the Bregenz Festival)
|Audio CD: Bella Voce|
Cat: BLV 107232