Friday, May 10, 2019

Domenico Cimarosa, Il matrimonio segreto (1792)

From an opera buffa throwback to the real thing. This was apparently a big hit back in the day, and it's certainly the only Cimarosa opera you're likely to see these days. Well, maybe "likely" is pushing it. Whatevz.

The idea is that Carolina, daughter of A Rich Guy, has secretly married a household secretary, Paolino, and they don't dare tell him. But the good news is that now Carolina's older sister, Elisetta, is going to be married to a count, and they hope that that's going to make their marriage more acceptable to him. But then, A TWIST!: it turns out that this putative engagement has Complications! And also, Rich Guy's widowed sister Fidalma is secretly in love with Paolino, not knowing that he's already married! It would be useless to say more than this.

The only negative thing I will say is that the ending is entirely too pat for its own good and, let's face it, kind of insulting to Elisetta. And is the Count supposed to be undergoing, like, character development? Because it kind of seems like he is, and yet it just never goes anywhere or is convincing or amounts to anything, so I don't know.

WHATEVER, dude. In spite of whatever quibbles one might have, I've got to say, this kinda fucking owns. Is it Mozart? Not exactly, but you can definitely see the resemblance, and it's bright and spritely and fun. It may not quite have the depth or range of Figaro or Giovanni or even Cosi, but if you like those, you're pretty much definitely going to like this.

Here is a very good, very traditional production from 1986, filled with singers I'd never heard of who do a great job. Amazing how much talent there is out there.


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