Bright laughing direction and individual performances which
cannot fail to entertain
La Dirindina, 1715La Canterina, 1766
Joseph Haydn (1766) Libretto Goldoni English libretto by Carl Zytowski Domenico Scarlatti
(1715) Libretto: Girolamo Gigli English libretto by John Flinders from a translation
by Caroline Anderson
The Prima Donna has always been a phenomenon, both as a great interpreter of opera
and as an archetype of femininity - tempestuous, demanding, manipulative and outrageously
alluring. In this pair of one act operas, two Prima Donnas are illustrated in their
full glory by composers who were all too familiar with the type. The divas' complicated
relationships with adoring music masters and other admirers prompt full demonstrations
of the characteristics that contribute to the myth.
Domenico Scarlatti is best known
for his harpsichord music, but he began his career in opera. La Dirindina is probably
the earliest opera about opera and its dramatic construction is way ahead of its
time. La Canterina, written about fifty years later, is Haydn's first Italian opera.
Haydn wrote some 20 operas and his more symphonic style makes an interesting contrast
with that of the earlier Italian.
Directed by Jack Edwards Musical Director Peter Holman Design Robin Linklater Photographs
An exhilaratingly funny evening..... La Dirindina...a wonderfully animated score,
flying up soaring steps of notes and down again with vastly pleasing effect La Canterina....the
music is as witty as the words [including] a tragic aria which could have come from
the young Mozart.
Eastern Daily Press
These were two enjoyable stagings...of works concerning the idiosyncrasies of the
operatic soprano, a subject which provides as much scope for comedy now as it did
then. Some things never change... The translators had injected just the right balance
of innuendo and ribald humour into their English translations of the librettos.
Although the material was essentially frivolous, it was acted with such exquisite
clarity, that few could fail to be amused...Opera Restor'd are to be applauded for
delivering convincing performances of two operas which have been ignored for many
Essex County Standard
Musical Standards are crisp, lively and well-disciplined...An enchanting double bill
A delightful accessible entertainment Arwel Treharne Morgan as Don Pelagio...is a
gifted comedian as well as a fine singer.