La finta semplice
La finta semplice (K51)
Opera buffa in three acts
Libretto by Carlo Goldini and Marco Coltellini, after La fausse Agnès, ou la poète campagnard by Philippe Néricault Destouches (1734)
English translation, as Pride and Pretence, by Gilly French and Jeremy Gray
First performance at Salzburg in 1769
|Rosina, a Hungarian baroness, sister of Fracasso||Aoife O’Sullivan|
|Don Cassandro, a rich, foolish and miserly gentleman landowner||Nicholas Merryweather|
|Don Polidoro, his younger brother, a foolish nobleman||Robert Anthony Gardiner|
|Giacinta, their sister||Caryl Hughes|
|Ninetta, their maid||Nathalie Chalkley|
|Fracasso, a Hungarian captain stationed in the area||Adam Tunnicliffe|
|Simone, his sergeant||Gavan Ring|
|The Orchestra of Bampton Classical Opera (July, August, October)|
Fracasso and Simone are billeted on Don Cassandro, a somewhat vain and miserly gentleman of Cremona, who does not intend to allow marriages between his sister, Giacinta, and the captain nor his maid, Ninetta, and Simone. Fracasso summons Rosina for help: she pretends to be a simpleton who would like to marry not on Cassandro but his silly younger brother Polidoro as well. She succeeds in wheedling a precious ring from Cassandro.
Rosina finds herself having to tolerate Polidoro’s boorishness and Cassandro’s drunkenness; the latter narrowly escapes fighting a duel with the captain. Persuaded that Giacinta has run off with the family treasure, Cassandro promises her hand to whoever finds and returns her.
Rosina has developed a natural affection for Cassandro. The other couples are found, forgiven and betrothed whilst Polidoro consoles himself that he wasn’t the only one deceived by the whole episode.
The Oxford Times, July 2013
an uplifting and energised evening
Opera Now, September 2013
Pride and Pretence