Disertore, Il (‘The Deserter’)
- Mary Hunter
Libretto subject used in the late 18th century and the early 19th, based on the opéra comique Déserteur, Le by Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny to a libretto by Michel-Jean Sedaine (1769, Paris), and on a play of the same name by Louis Sébastien Mercier (1770, Paris).
The first Italian operatic version was written by C. F. Badini for P. A. Guglielmi (1770, London). Badini acknowledged his indebtedness to ‘the French’ in the plan of the drama but asserted his independence as far as the individual numbers are concerned. His version is a fairly typical opera buffa, which distributes the dramatic attention more equally among the characters than does Sedaine’s work. The story begins with a feast, purporting to be the wedding of the heroine, Rosetta, to Beltramino. It is in fact a joke designed to test the constancy of Rosetta’s real lover, Alessio, who is deemed to have deserted the army by virtue of having strayed from the barracks to see Rosetta. Alessio is sentenced to death, but Rosetta obtains a last-minute pardon from the King....