Baldassare Galuppi: La Diavolessa (The She Devil)

An 18th Century Season

The 2020 Summer Opera has been deferred due to COVID-19
Now scheduled:
June 30 (Preview), July 3, 6, 7, 9, 10, 2021. The Warden’s Garden, New College.

The Warden’s Garden, New College, 6.30pm

We are looking forward to welcoming you to the Summer Opera for 2021. The cast, team, and orchestra are ready to go, and general preparations are underway. The nature of our outdoor performances is working to our advantage!

However, while the Government’s Roadmap has provided us with some confidence that we will be able to deliver the summer opera safely and successfully, things still remain uncertain, and in the light of the present situation, we are proceeding cautiously, and tickets are not yet on sale

 Anyone who is not on the NCO electronic mailing list and who would like to be updated on the Summer Opera, should email [email protected] 

Count Nastri
The Countess, his wife
Dorina, An Adventuress
Giannino, young, lover of Dorina
Don Poppone Corbelli, gentleman
Ghiandina, housemaid
Falco, innkeeper

The ‘She-devil’ of the opera is, of course, Dorina, the character who provides a focus for several characters’ desires. The plot starts out sedately enough; Giannino and Dorina are in love, but Dorina has decided that because Giannino has no money, she will not marry him. Falco, the local inn-keeper, suggests that they try a scam to rob the foolish – but wealthy – old Don Poppone. But now the plot descends into farce. Poppone believes there is treasure in his basement, and Giannino and Dorina pose as Turkish mystics to pretend to find it. When they arrive, Poppone mistakes the pair for the Roman Count Nastri and his wife the Countess, whom Poppone was also expecting; when the real noble couple arrives, they are mistaken for the announced Turks. CHAOS. Musically, the most important interesting number is the second finale, which contains the séance; the score evokes mysterious and eerie powers.

Galuppi and the librettist Carlo Goldoni, between them invented opera buffa as we know it today. The Venetian-born composer worked both as a writer of opera seria and then in the newly developed drama giocoso. His music, in an attractive, mid-18th-century gallant style, was heard throughout Europe, and although he spent periods out of Venice – including a spell at the Italian Opera House in London – the city was the focus of his career. His music disappeared into obscurity, partly because Napoleon’s invasion of Venice in 1797 resulted in Galuppi’s manuscripts being scattered and, in many cases, lost or destroyed. La Diavolessa, which was premiered at the Teatro S Samuele in November 1755, however, did survive, and is among those works revived during the 20th century.