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La gazzetta

[The Gazzette]

Music drama in two acts by
GIUSEPPE PALOMBA

First performance:
Naples – Teatro de' Fiorentini
26 September 1816

Critical Edition by
PHILIP GOSSETT and FABRIZIO SCIPIONI

FONDAZIONE ROSSINI PESARO 2002

 

CHARACTERS:
D. POMPONIO STORIONE, a fanatical and ambitious man, father of Lisetta, buffo bass
LISETTA, a scheming, silly girl, lover of Filippo, soprano
FILIPPO, innkeeper, an odd and shrewd young man, lover of Lisetta, bass
DORALICE, a traveller, mezzo-soprano
ANSELMO, her father, bass
ALBERTO, a well-born young man who is going about trying to find a satisfactory wife, tenor
MADAMA LA ROSE, a traveller, mezzo-soprano
MONSÙ TRAVERSEN, bass

The scene is in Paris

Instrumentation: 2 Flutes/1 Piccolo, 2 Oboes, 2 Clarinets, 1 Bassoon, 2 Horns, 2 Trumpets, 1 Trombone, Strings, Continuo
Performance time: 2h

Rossini's only Neapolitan comic opera, La gazzetta has a deliciously complicated plot involving two young women, their lovers, and their fathers, all residents of the same hotel. In "The Gazzette" of the opera's title, the ambitious Pomponio advertises for a husband for his flirtatious daughter Lisetta, already in love with Filippo. Rossini exploited the many intrigues with great verve. Although borrowing substantially from earlier works (largely Il Turco in Italia), he rewrote the music, calibrating it to the new context. With fresh pieces, especially for Don Pomponio (a classic buffo singing in Neapolitan dialect), Lisetta, and her suitor, La gazzetta became a satisfyingly original product. Filippo's aria "Quando la fama altera" shows Rossini at his comic best, while such events as the arrival of disguised "Quakers" and a Turkish masquerade occasion lively ensembles.

Rossini's autograph score lacks music for a key scene in recitative, present in the original libretto but apparently never set; to enable performance, the critical edition provides music written by Philip Gossett. The Neapolitan text in the libretto and score shows numerous variant or incorrect spellings, the critical commentary contains a glossary giving all Neapolitan words and forms used in the edition, any correct variant forms found in the sources, and the Italian translation.

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