Amore artigiano, L’ (‘Love among the Artisans’)
- Joshua Kosman
(‘Love among the Artisans’)
Opera buffa in three acts by Florian Leopold Gassmann to a libretto by Carlo Goldoni ; Vienna, Burgtheater, 26 April 1767.
One of Gassmann’s most enduring successes, this opera was performed throughout Austria, Italy and Germany, sometimes in translation as Die Liebe unter den Handwerksleuten; Haydn oversaw three productions at Eszterháza. The libretto, first set in 1760 by Gaetano Latilla, is the second instalment in a trilogy depicting love among the various classes of society. The artisans of the title include the blacksmith Titta (tenor), the carpenter Giannino (tenor) and the elderly cobbler Bernardo (bass), who run adjacent shops in the village square; romantic entanglements involve Rosina, a dressmaker and Bernardo’s daughter (soprano), and the milliner Angiolina (contralto). The cast is completed by Madame Costanza, a wealthy widow of a certain age (soprano), in love with her French valet Girò (tenor). In fact the libretto is an extensive revision of Goldoni’s original, expanding the ensemble finales of all three acts from three sections to four or even five; sudden shifts in the action are matched by changes, sometimes abrupt, of key, tempo and metre. The role of the valet is also expanded, and his French nationality (Gassmann’s invention) gives rise to many gently satirical invocations of French music (generally the minuet)....