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Frate ’nnamorato, Lo (‘The Brother in Love’)locked

  • Gordana Lazarevich

Extract

Commedia musicale in three acts by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi to a libretto by Gennaro Antonio Federico ; Naples, Teatro dei Fiorentini, 27 September 1732.

Marcaniello (bass) is a rich, elderly proprietor of a house in Capodimonte on the outskirts of Naples. Living with him is Ascanio (tenor), a young man of unknown parentage who has been brought up by Marcaniello. Two sisters, Nena (soprano) and Nina (mezzo-soprano), are objects of Ascanio’s love, and his equally tender feelings towards both of them cause him pain and uncertainty. Marcaniello also has designs on the sisters: he wants to marry Nina and sees Nena as a suitable wife for his son, Don Pietro (bass). Marcaniello’s daughter Lucrezia (contralto) is in love with Ascanio, but she is the object of amorous advances by Nina and Nena’s elderly uncle Carlo (tenor). In a duel with Don Pietro, Ascanio is wounded in the arm, uncovering a birthmark that identifies him as Lucio, the long-lost brother of Nina and Nena. Thus, he is able to marry Lucrezia. Throughout the opera two Neapolitan maids, Vannella (soprano) and Cardella (soprano), contribute burlesque scenes....

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