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date: 29 March 2020

Arcadia in Brenta, L’locked

  • Dale E. Monson

Extract

Dramma giocoso in three acts by Baldassare Galuppi to a libretto by Carlo Goldoni ; Venice, Teatro S Angelo, 14 May 1749.

Fabrizio Fabroni da Fabriano (bass), who owns a villa overlooking the river Brenta, entertains a variety of guests and foreigners in his idyllic Arcadia, now a year old. But, as Foresto (bass) insistently tries to tell him (though he cannot rouse Fabrizio from his slumber), there is no more money – and more visitors are expected! Rosanna, Laura and Giacinto (sopranos), three of his guests, sing praises to their peaceful life and natural surroundings, and the women lead Fabrizio to believe that they are enamoured of him and seek his attentions. Madama Lindora (soprano) soon joins their ranks; she is of the most extreme affectation and complains of too much walking (a few steps), noises that are too loud and too many bad smells out of doors, etc. After bitter complaints about Fabrizio and his household, she wanders off. Count Bellezza (tenor) is another caricature. He simply cannot cease praising Fabrizio and his Arcadia, and this in the most outrageous hyperbole in rhymed couplets. Fabrizio is at first flattered, then impatient and annoyed as he cannot make him stop this patter. He finally threatens, ‘Either you go, Signore, or I will’. Left alone, he laments that, with two more fools in the company, his ‘Arcadia in Brenta’ is now at an end. He sings an aria explaining how he hopes at least to sell off his possessions to maintain the ladies’ favour (‘Per Lauretta vezzosetta la carrozza vada pure’). The first act finale describes a meeting with Lindora and the Count. Fabrizio offers the two tobacco, which makes everyone sneeze, particularly the sensitive Lindora....

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