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Livietta e Tracollo [La contadina astuta] (‘Livietta and Tracollo’ [The Astute Peasant Woman’]locked

  • Gordana Lazarevich

Extract

Intermezzo in musica in two parts by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi to a libretto by Tommaso Mariani ; Naples, Teatro S Bartolomeo, 25 October 1734.

In the first intermezzo a peasant woman, Livietta (soprano), and her friend, Fulvia (silent), attempt to ambush the thief and rascal Tracollo (bass). Livietta is disguised as a French country boy and Fulvia as a rich woman adorned with fake necklaces and jewellery. Tracollo, disguised as a pregnant Polish woman and accompanied by his servant, Faccenda (silent), disguised as an old beggar, approaches the two women who pretend to be asleep. Not recognizing them, Tracollo attempts to steal Fulvia’s jewellery, only to be caught by Livietta. In keeping with their respective foreign disguises, she and Tracollo converse in broken Italian. Finally, she reveals her identity and calls on a group of peasants for help to have Tracollo imprisoned. Despite his attempts to arouse her pity, and his last-minute offer to marry her, the furious Livietta rejects him in her aria ‘Sarebbe bella questa’....

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