The Apothecary
(Lo Speziale) (1768)


  Music: Joseph Haydn
edited and reconstructed
by Peter Holman and Ernest Warburton  

Libretto: Carlo Goldoni
Translation by Brian Trowell  


Haydn's second opera, written for the opening of the opera house at Esterhaza in 1768. It was the first of Haydn's operas to be revived in modern times (Mahler produced a version), but has been overshadowed by his later works.

The work has none of the solemnity and complexity of the old operatic tradition. The story is simple, the music lively and witty and the arias are more developed musically than in Italian operas of the period. Changes of mood and character are reflected in the music and the ensembles are a foretaste of those of Cosi fan Tutte and Figaro. Goldoni's libretto was originally set to music by Fischietti and was first performed in Venice in 1754/5.

Directed by Jack Edwards
Musical Director Peter Holman
Set and Costume Design Robin Linklater
Lighting Design Peter Milne
Photographs Caroline Anderson

Dramatis Personae

Sempronio An apothecary who plans to marry his young ward

Grilleta who is pursued by two admirers:

Volpino A scented dandy  

Mengone A young man pretending to be an apprentice




The Apothecary