Le convenienze ed inconvenienze teatrali

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Le convenienze ed inconvenienze teatrali
Opera by Gaetano Donizetti

Gaetano Donizetti 1.jpg

The composer c. 1835
Other titleViva la mamma
Librettist Domenico Gilardoni
Language Italian
Based on plays by Antonio Simone Sografi
Premiere20 April 1831 (1831-04-20) (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).

Dramma giocoso is a genre of opera common in the mid-18th century. The term is a contraction of dramma giocoso per musica and describes the opera's libretto (text). The genre developed in the Neapolitan opera tradition, mainly through the work of the playwright Carlo Goldoni in Venice. A dramma giocoso characteristically used a grand buffo scene as a dramatic climax at the end of an act. Goldoni's texts always consisted of two long acts with extended finales, followed by a short third act. Composers Baldassare Galuppi, Niccolò Piccinni, and Joseph Haydn set Goldoni's texts to music.

Opera artform combining sung text and musical score in a theatrical setting

Opera is a form of theatre in which music has a leading role and the parts are taken by singers, but is distinct from musical theater. Such a "work" is typically a collaboration between a composer and a librettist and incorporates a number of the performing arts, such as acting, scenery, costume, and sometimes dance or ballet. The performance is typically given in an opera house, accompanied by an orchestra or smaller musical ensemble, which since the early 19th century has been led by a conductor.

Gaetano Donizetti 19th-century Italian opera composer

Domenico Gaetano Maria Donizetti was an Italian composer. Along with Gioachino Rossini and Vincenzo Bellini, Donizetti was a leading composer of the bel canto opera style during the first half of the nineteenth century. Donizetti's close association with the bel canto style was undoubtedly an influence on other composers such as Giuseppe Verdi.

Contents

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.

Convenienze were the rules relating to the ranking of singers in 19th-century Italian opera, and the number of scenes, arias etc. that they were entitled to expect.

Performance history

19th century

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.

Teatro Nuovo (Naples) theater in Naples

The Teatro Nuovo is a theatre located on Via Montecalvario in the Quartieri Spagnoli district of Naples. The original theatre was an opera house designed by Domenico Antonio Vaccaro. Completed in 1724, it was also known as the Teatro Nuovo sopra Toledo and the Teatro Nuovo de Montecalvario. The theatre specialised in the opera buffa genre and saw the world premieres of hundreds of operas in its heyday. These included fifteen of Cimarosa's operas and seven of Donizetti's. The present theatre is the third to have been erected on the site following its destruction by fire in 1861 and again in 1935.

Teatro Lirico (Milan) theatre in Milan, Italy

The Teatro Lirico is a theatre in Milan, Italy. In the 19th and early 20th centuries it was particularly notable for opera performances, including the world premieres of Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore and Giordano's Fedora. The theatre, located on Via Rastrelli, closed in 1998. However, a restoration project was begun in April 2007, and it was due to re-open in 2009 as the Teatro Lirico Giorgio Gaber.

20th century and beyond

Convenienze had its first major modern revival in 1963 in Siena, [1] 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. [1]

In the UK, the first staged performance was not given until 9 April 1976 by an amateur company, the Harrow Opera Workshop, [1] 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. [1] In the US, the first production was given in Terre Haute, Indiana on 2 April 1966 [2]

Opera Rara is a British non-profit recording company, founded in the early 1970s by American Patric Schmid and Englishman Don White to promote concerts of rare and/or forgotten operas by bel canto era composers such as Italian composers Gaetano Donizetti, Giovanni Pacini, Saverio Mercadante, and Federico Ricci, as well as French composers of the 1830s forward such as Giacomo Meyerbeer.

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.

June Anderson is a Grammy Award-winning American dramatic coloratura soprano. Originally known for bel canto performances of Rossini, Donizetti, and Vincenzo Bellini, she was the first non-Italian ever to win the prestigious Bellini d'Oro prize.

La Scala Opera house in Milan, Italy

La Scala is an opera house in Milan, Italy. The theatre was inaugurated on 3 August 1778 and was originally known as the Nuovo Regio Ducale Teatro alla Scala. The premiere performance was Antonio Salieri's Europa riconosciuta.

This opera was staged in 2017 in the Estates Theatre of the Czech National Theatre in Prague. [3]

Roles

RoleVoice typePremiere Cast,
Final revision
20 April 1827
(Conductor: - )
Daria Garbinati, prima donna soprano Fanny Corri-Paltoni
Procolo, her husband bass Cesare Badiali
Biscroma Strappaviscere, conductor,
(literally, bowel ripper)
baritone
Donna Agata Scannagalli, Luigia's mother,
a Neapolitan
baritone Gennaro Luzio  (it )
Luigia Castragatti, seconda donna,
(literally, cat castrator)
soprano
Guglielmo Antolstoinoff,
primo tenore, German
tenor Giuseppe Giordano
Cesare Salsapariglia,
druggist and poet
baritone Vincenzo Galli
Impresariobass
Director of the Theatrebass
Soldiers, servants, workmen

Synopsis

Time: 18th century
Place: "A provincial Italian theatre" [4]

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.

Recordings

YearCast
(L'Impresario,
Prima Donna, Luigia,
First Musician,
Madama Agata)
Conductor,
Opera House and Orchestra
Label [5]
1976 Leo Nucci,
Daniela Mazzucato (Meneghini),
Alberta Valentini,
Laura Zannini,
Giuseppe Taddei
Carlo Franci  (it )
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

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References

Notes

  1. 1 2 3 4 Osborne 1994, p. 173
  2. Ashbrook and Hibberd 2001, p. 228
  3. Osborne 1994, p. 172
  4. Source for recording information: Recording(s) of Le convenienze ed inconvenienze teatrali on operadis-opera-discography.org.uk

Cited sources

Sources