ⓘ Il matrimonio segreto


ⓘ Il matrimonio segreto

Il matrimonio segreto is an opera in two acts, music by Domenico Cimarosa, on a libretto by Giovanni Bertati, based on the play The Clandestine Marriage by George Colman the Elder and David Garrick. It was first performed on 7 February 1792 at the Imperial Hofburg Theatre in Vienna in the presence of Emperor Leopold II.


1. Performance history

Cimarosas only work still to be regularly performed, it is arguably one of the greatest 18th century opera buffa apart from those by Mozart. Its premiere was the occasion of the longest encore in operatic history; Leopold II was so delighted that he ordered supper served to the company and the entire opera repeated immediately after.

The Italian premiere of the opera was given at La Scala in Milan on 17 February 1793 with Maria Gazzotti as Carolina and Vincenzo Del Moro as Paolino. On 23 May, the same year, arrived to Barcelona Teatre de la Santa Creu. England saw the work for the first time on 11 January 1794 at The Kings Theatre in London and the following 6 August it was performed for the first time in Portugal at the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos in Lisbon with Domenico Caporalini as Carolina and Luigi Bruschi as Paolino. The French premiere was given by the Theatre-Italien in Paris on 10 May 1801 with Teresa Strinasacchi Avogadro as Carolina and Gustavo Lazzarini as Paolino.

Il matrimonio segreto was first performed in the United States at the Italian Opera House in New York City on 8 January 1834. The Metropolitan Opera presented the work for the first time on 25 February 1937 with Muriel Dickson as Carolina, George Rasely as Paolino, Natalie Bodanya as Elisetta, Julius Huehn as Robinson, and Ettore Panizza conducting.


2. Synopsis

We are in the household of Geronimo, a wealthy citizen of Bologna; he has two daughters, Elisetta and Carolina, and a sister Fidalma, who runs the household. He also has a young secretary, Paolino, who is secretly married to the younger daughter, Carolina.

Act I

Paolino is working to arrange a marriage contract between Elisetta and his patron, Count Robinson, hoping that as soon as Geronimos older daughter is well married, his marriage to the younger one will be acceptable. Count Robinson has written a letter expressing interest - tempted by Elisettas substantial dowry - and Geronimo is thrilled to think that his daughter will be a Countess. "Udite, tutti udite" Fidalma confesses to her niece that she is in love, too, but only reveals in an aside to the audience that she has her eye on Paolino. "E vero che in casa"

When the Count arrives he is disappointed to find that it is not Carolina who has been offered to him. "Senza tante cerimonie" He tells Paolino that he will be content with a smaller dowry and sends him off to arrange the match. Carolina doesnt dare tell the count that she is married, so when she admits she has no lover it excites him further; she tries to convince him she has no desire or qualification to be a countess "Perdonate, signor mio", but he continues to pursue her. Elisetta accuses them both of betraying her, and the commotion attracts Fidalma who joins Carolina in trying to calm Elisetta "Lasciatemi, signore" ; everyone tries at once to explain his or her feelings to the confused and exasperated Geronimo "Orsù, saper conviene".

Act II

Geronimo insists that the Count must honor his contract and marry Elisetta, but the Count refuses. When he offers to accept a smaller dowry with Carolinas hand instead, Geronimo is delighted to save face and money - as long as Elisetta agrees.

Paolino is distraught, and throws himself on Fidalmas mercy, but is stunned to find that she hopes to marry him; he faints, giving her the idea that she returns his emotion and making Carolina think she has been betrayed, but he promises that they will leave the house at dawn and take refuge in the house of a relative.

The Count tells Elisetta all his bad habits and physical defects, hoping shell reject him, but she stands firm - and he finally confesses that he cannot abide her. Geronimo cant persuade her either. Fidalma suggests sending Carolina to a convent, and Geronimo agrees. Carolina is broken-hearted and tries to confess her predicament to the Count, but they are interrupted by her sister, her aunt and her father who are gleeful at having caught them together, and Geronimo sends Paolino off with a letter to the Mother Superior.

After a brilliant and farcical finale Paolino and Carolina finally confess they have been married for two months; Geronimo and Fidalma are furious, but the Count and Elisetta advise them to forgive the newlyweds, adding that they themselves will marry after all.


3. Recordings

  • 1951: Alda Noni, Ornella Rovere, Giulietta Simionato, Cesare Valletti, Sesto Bruscantini, Antonio Cassinelli – Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Manno Wolf-Ferrari – Warner Fonit
  • 1956: Graziella Sciutti, Eugenia Ratti, Ebe Stignani, Luigi Alva, Franco Calabrese – Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala, Nino Sanzogno – EMI
  • 1991: Susan Patterson, Janet Williams, Gloria Banditelli, William Matteuzzi, Petteri Salomaa, Alfonso Antoniozzi, Orchestra of the Eastern Netherlands, Gabrielle Bellini – Arts Music
  • 1978: Arleen Auger, Julia Varady, Julia Hamari, Ryland Davies, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Alberto Rinaldi – English Chamber Orchestra, Daniel Barenboim – Deutsche Grammophon
  • 2008: Cinzia Forte, Priscille Laplace, Damiana Pinti, Alberto Rinaldi, Aldo Caputo – Orchestra & Chorus of the Opera Royal de Wallonie, Giovanni Antonini – Dynamic
  • 2017: Addie Lansbury, Carlene Harris, Florinda Benini, Jaylen Parker, Irving Hussain, Roberto Vicarelli - Harmoniae Templum Chamber Orchestra, Simone Perugini - RC Record Classic Label

  • school. He wrote more than eighty operas, the best known of which is Il matrimonio segreto 1792 most of his operas are comedies. He also wrote instrumental
  • in Monte - Carlo, London, Madrid, etc. He can be heard on disc in Il matrimonio segreto with Alda Noni, Giulietta Simionato, Cesare Valletti, and Sesto
  • Aix - en - Provence Festival as Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia. In 1957, she sang as Elisetta in Il matrimonio segreto at the Edinburgh Festival. She also
  • include a skillfully written overture and recitatives to the opera Il matrimonio segreto by Cimarosa. Krushevsky was also a first - class piano accompanist
  • two voices in 2005. In 2011 the Academy produced the comic opera Il matrimonio segreto by Domenico Cimarosa. The production also toured at Mustasaari Music
  • Her stage debut at Aix - en - Provence in 1951 singing Elisetta in Il matrimonio segreto and the woman in The Telephone and realized that she was a person
  • time to London, many years later, and reappeared in Cimarosa s Il matrimonio segreto Never was a more pitiable attempt she had scarcely a thread of
  • performed in La vida breve, Macbeth, Canço d amor i de guerra, Il matrimonio segreto Gianni Schicchi Teatro Arriaga, Bilbao Juana de Arco en la hoguera
  • early 1950s, notably Le cantatrici villane, Le nozze di Figaro, Il matrimonio segreto L elisir d amore, Don Pasquale, I quatro rusteghi. Le guide de
  • devoted to writing drammi giocosi. His most celebrated libretto is Il matrimonio segreto The Secret Marriage set to the music of Domenico Cimarosa
  • part in Così fan tutte at Her Majesty s Theatre, and in 1846 in Il matrimonio segreto He played the part of Count Rodolphe to Jenny Lind s Amina in La
  • Salzburg 1952 Amongst his best performances on record were Il matrimonio segreto Il barbiere di Siviglia, Don Pasquale, Un ballo in maschera, Otello
  • the role of Robinson in the Met s premiere of Cimarosa s opera Il matrimonio segreto on February 25, 1937. In addition, he appeared at the San Francisco