Opera Scotland

Maestro di Cappella Il maestro di cappella; The Musical Director

Music

Domenico Cimarosa (born Aversa, 17 December 1749; died Venice, 11 January 1801)

Text

Anonymous

 

Premières

First Performance: Not known - estimated 1786-1791.

First Performance in UK: to be confirmed.

First Performance in Scotland: Ledlanet, Kinross-shire, 6 June 1964.

Scottish Opera première: N/A.

 

Background

Cimarosa trained in Naples and worked successfully in a number of Italian houses. From 1787 to 1791 he was director of the opera house at St Petersburg, but seems to have disliked the climate. On the retirement of Antonio Salieri he succeeded to his post as Court Kapellmeister in Vienna, having his greatest success with Il matrimonio segreto. The Emperor died the following year, and Cimarosa spent the rest of his life in Italy.

Little is know about Il maestro di cappella, perhaps a cantata or intermezzo rather than an opera, but it can be highly entertaining in performance.

 

Characters

Maestro (baritone)

 

Plot Summary

In a work which lasts barely a half-hour, the Maestro conducts an orchestra rehearsal during which he sings throughout, performing two arias interspersed with recitatives. He despairs at the poor quality of the musicians before him, and tries desperately to extract a performance from them. At last he at least gives the impression of being satisfied with the results.

If the singer happens to be a talented conductor and the orchestral players are happy to act and react, as happened with Claudio Desderi and the SCO in 1992, the result can be quite delightful.

The Cast

Maestro
 

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