Opera Scotland

Pimpinone oder Die ungleiche Heirat; or The Unequal Marriage


Georg Philipp Telemann (born Magdeburg, 14 March 1681; died Hamburg, 25 June 1767)


Johann Philipp Praetorius


Italian libretto by Pietro Pariati



First Performance: Hamburg (Theater am Gänsemarkt), 27 September 1725.

First Performance in UK: London (Mary Ward Hall), 30 April 1953.

First Performance in Scotland: Ledlanet, Kinross-shire, 8 July 1971.

Scottish Opera premiere: N/A.



At first sight this little entertainment is highly reminiscent of the Pergolesi piece La serva padrona. But Telemann's work actually predates the Neapolitan piece and was performed a decade earlier. Also, it lacks the element of traditional Italian commedia dell' arte provided by the silent but all-seeing comic servant in the Pergolesi.



Pimpinone, an elderly bachelor (baritone)

Vespetta, his servant (soprano)


Plot Summary

This is another variant on the traditional plot of the elderly bachelor marrying then being tamed by a termagant of a maidservant. In this case, even her name, Vespetta, implying 'little wasp' tells us what the poor old fool is in for.

The Cast

 a wealthy old bachelor
 Pimpinone's servant

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