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Cordovano, Il (‘The Cordovan’)locked

  • Alasdair Jamieson

Extract

Opera in one act by Goffredo Petrassi to a libretto by Eugenio Montale after Miguel de Cervantes ’s Entremes del viejo celoso; Milan, Teatro alla Scala, 12 May 1949 (revised version, Milan, Piccola Scala, 18 February 1959).

The story is set in 17th-century Córdoba. The crusty septuagenarian Cannizares (bass) has taken a young wife Donna Lorenza (soprano) whom he keeps as a virtual prisoner at home to prevent possible illicit liaisons. Hortigosa (contralto), a neighbour, aided by Lorenza’s young niece Cristina (soprano leggero), smuggles a comely youth (silent role) into the house for Lorenza’s pleasure by using a cordovan leather mat for concealment. When Cannizares goes to investigate the ecstatic sighs coming from his wife’s room he receives a basin of water in the face and the youth escapes in the confusion. Attracted by the commotion, the town guard arrives with a group of passing musicians who sing a moralizing chorus to the, by now, pacified company....

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