Avaro, L’ (‘The Miser’)
- Mary Hunter
Dramma giocoso in three acts by Pasquale Anfossi to a libretto by Giovanni Bertati ; Venice, Teatro S Moisè, autumn 1775.
L’avaro is in many ways a conservative work, relying on a traditional commedia dell’arte plot. The miser, Signor Orgasmo (bass), chooses an old, deaf, but rich suitor, Macobrio (bass), for his daughter, Rosalinda (soprano), but she wants to marry the young and attractive Felicino (tenor). Signor Orgasmo’s son Steffanello (bass) wants to marry Laurina (soprano), a young woman whom the miser himself desires. A servant, Tortora (soprano), plays a minor role. In order to remove his son from amorous competition, Signor Orgasmo plans to send him to America; by pretending to prefer the old man to his son, Laurina persuades him to keep Steffanello at home. Felicino manages to enter the miser’s home in the guise of a Moluccan astrologer and predicts that he is to become extremely rich. The two plots eventually converge in the Act 2 finale, where the miser is duped into signing marriage contracts in the belief that this will expedite the promised fortune....