Vera costanza, La (‘True Constancy’)(i)
- Mary Hunter
Dramma giocoso in three acts by Pasquale Anfossi to a libretto by Francesco Puttini; Rome, Teatro delle Dame, 2 January 1776.
The opera is a comédie larmoyante which connects the archetypes of the quasi-folktale of the patient Griselda and Samuel Richardson’s Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded. The fishergirl Rosina (soprano) has secretly married Count Errico (tenor) and has borne him a child. He has since rejected her. His aunt, Baroness Irene (soprano), wants to marry the Cavaliere Ernesto (tenor), but she believes that her nephew Errico’s suspected interest in Rosina will tarnish the family reputation. The buffoon Villotto (bass) is brought in to marry Rosina, but in the end Errico rediscovers his love, the Baroness relents and all ends happily. The text is akin to that set by Haydn in 1779; Anfossi’s music is perhaps too uniformly mellifluous and sweet. The opera received well over 20 productions in its first five years, travelled as far afield as London and Copenhagen by ...