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Cappello di paglia di Firenze, Il (‘The Florentine Straw Hat’)locked

  • Giordano Montecchi

Extract

Farsa musicale in four acts by Nino Rota to a libretto by Nino and Ernesta Rota after Eugène Labiche and Marc Antoine Amédée Michel’s vaudeville Un chapeau de paille d’Italie; Palermo, Teatro Massimo, 21 April 1955.

Preparations are being made at the Parisian home of Fadinard (tenor) for his wedding to Elena (soprano), the daughter of Nonancourt (bass). While he is out a hat-box arrives among the wedding presents; on his return he recounts an odd thing that has just happened to him: his horse ate a hat belonging to a lady on her way to an assignation. She is Anaide (contralto), wife of the jealous Beaupertuis (bass), and without revealing her identity she arrives at Fadinard’s house with her lover, Lieutenant Emilio (tenor), and demands another identical hat, threatening Fadinard that otherwise Emilio will challenge him to a duel. Fadinard sets off in search of the hat, without explanation to the guests, Nonancourt or his bride, who all follow him intent upon the wedding. He goes first to a hat shop, and then to the home of Baroness di Champigny (soprano), where a party is in preparation; Fadinard is taken for Minard, a celebrated violinist, and he asks for the hat in payment, but, while his guests tuck into the banquet which they assume was prepared for them, the baroness realizes that she has lent her hat to her niece, Mme Beaupertuis....

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