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L'italiana in Londra

Domenico Cimarosa 1749–1801

Intermezzo in musica in 3 acts
Libretto by Giuseppe Petrosellini
First performed December 28 1778, Teatro Valle, Rome
Never performed in Frankfurt before

Sung in Italian with German & English surtitles

Introduction (on video, in German) will appear here and on YouTube shortly before opening night

Humour, drama, madness, eroticism, absurdities and believing that a magic stone can make people invisible – are all to be found in Domenico Cimarosa's sparkling intermezzo, L’italiana in Londra. The audience at the world premiere in Rome's prestigious Teatro Valle in 1778 were gripped by the developments and complications between the international guests who find themselves at Madama Brillante's hotel in London. A kind of parallel world, at its centre, a pair of lovers: Livia, a daughter from a good Genovese family, and Milard Arespingh, who's been ordered back from Jamaica by his father to marry an English lady.

The music and libretto reflects the characters and their stations in life. Contemplative arias and finely crafted duets appear alongside astonishing action-packed ensembles. It was this appreciation of the ensemble as a musical form that drew international attention to Cimarosa, who was better known in Rome and Milan before he wrote L'italiana in Londra. Goethe praised the »supreme aesthetic splendour« of his music and translated two of his librettos, Haydn conducted 13 Cimarosa operas in seven years at the Esterházy royal court. Rossini's triumphal march overshadowed his colleague's success. All the more reason to look forward to rediscovering the work in R.B. Schlather's take on the work!