Libretto by Marco Coltellini
English translation by Andrew Porter
The Orangery terrace, Westonbirt School, 27 August 2005 and
St John's Smith Square, London, 20 September 2005
Wantage , Wotton, Thaxted, Buscot
|Musical Director and pianist||Kelvin Lim|
English Haydn festival, Bridgnorth
A beautiful evening falls at the cottage of Filippo, an old peasant. He has been in negotiations with Nencio, a relatively prosperous farmer. Also present are two younger peasants: Vespina, who is in love with Nencio, and her brother Nanni. Both are worried: she because Nencio leaves without saying goodbye, and he because he cannot see his girlfriend Sandrina, the over-protected daughter of Filippo.
When Sandrina enters, she senses that something regarding her is amiss and questions her father. Filippo is pleased to announce that he has found a prosperous husband for her, namely Nencio. After much protestation, Sandrina realises she can only obey her father, but hopes to continue loving Nanni nevertheless. When Nanni returns she repeatedly has to answer "no" to him, according to her promise to her father. When Nanni eventually understands the situation he swears vengeance.
In Nanni's house, Vespina recounts the state-of-play of her love affair with Nencio, but Nanni's agitated return leads both brother and sister to seek revenge.
Nencio serenades Sandrina below her window. Vespina and Nanni hide and listen to his conversation with Filippo and then with Sandrina. When Nencio attempts to woo Sandrina by saying he will take her by force, Vespina comes out of hiding and slaps him, and the whole company quarrel furiously.
Vespina sets about a plan to sort things out. Disguised as an old woman, she tells Filippo that she is in search of the wicked husband – one Nencio – who has abandoned her daughter. The revelation upsets both Filippo and Sandrina, and when Nencio arrives, Filippo insults him and declares that he can no longer count on his daughter's hand.
Quite bewildered, Nencio meets a German servant – Vespina in her second disguise – who announces that 'his' master, the Marquis of Ripafratta, is about to marry Sandrina. Now it is Nencio's turn to be furious and he is about to seek satisfaction from Filippo when the Marquis (Vespina again) arrives and reveals that he actually intends to marry Sandrina off to one of his kitchen scullions. Nencio is thrilled that Filippo will be tricked in this way and offers to be a witness to the wedding.
At home, Filippo attempts to prepare Sandrina for a life of luxury, but she would still prefer to live in a cottage as Nanni's wife. Vespina, now disguised as a notary, and accompanied by Nanni as the Marquis' servant, prepares the marriage contract which, in anticipation of the arrival of the Marquis, Nanni signs. Brother and sister reveal their true identities, and Sandrina discovers that she has become married to Nanni. Nencio finds that his signature on the contract has married him to Vespina. Although Filippo has been outwitted, rage turns to reconciliation and general rejoicing.
from Musical Opinion, 2004
Musical Opinion, 2004
from Opera Now
from the Shropshire Star
Shropshire Star June 2004
Court spectacle and rustic simplicity