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Il Campanello

Il Campanello

Il Campanello  Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova  11-11-2011
Gaetano Donizetti
Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova
The old dupe fooled by his young wife, who's instead in love with a man of her age, is a typical theme of the Opera Buffa of Eighteenth-Nineteenth Century. The Opera Il campanello writte by the Italian composer Gaetano Donizettiperfectly matches the typical scheme and it adds the multi-language of the dialect to the story, enriched by fancy dresses, which are always a successful source of fun. When Gaetano Donizetti decided to eliminate the dialect language, in a later revision, it was mainly because the dialect of the debuting city of the opera, Naples, wouldn't have been understood in other cities, preventing the opera from a wider success.

Synopsis Il Campanello

In a neighbourhood in Naples, young Serafina has to marry Don Annibale Pistacchio, a pharmacist. But Serafina and the young Enrico are in love and the two try everything to prevent the wedding. In spite of this, the ceremony is set for the day before Don Annibale's trip: he has to go to Rome to read an auntie's testament and he'll be staying there for a month. During the party, Serafina dances with Enrico, who's a guest but in a soldier's clothing; in front of all the other guests, he courts her throwing himself at her feet, just as the groom walks in. After the last drinks, the guests leave and Pistacchio, helped by his servant Spiridone, is about to spend his wedding night with Serafina. Enrico is prepared to do anything to avoid the couple to spend the night together. Just as the two spouses are about to go to bed, the bell of the pharmacy rings. By law, the pharmacist has to serve the customers regardless of the time, so Pistacchio has to go to the shop, which is just below his apartment, and open the door. The customer is in fact Enrico, disguised as a young Frenchman who's looking for a medicine to cure indigestion. Once he's inside the pharmacy, Enrico takes the chance to place a letter on the doorstep of the spouses' house. When Enrico leaves with his medicine, Pistacchio goes back to the room to Serafina but shortly after, the bell rings one more time. It's Enrico once again, this time disguised as a singer. He's asking for help to find his voice back. Left alone, after he has served the umpteenth customer, Pistacchio reads the mysterious note found on his doorstep, which threatens him with death. Scared, he places some firecrackers at his own doorstep, to eventually reveal the presence of who wants him dead. But the bell rings again and this time is an old man's turn, again Enrico in disguise, asking for a medicine for his sick wife. After he has served the old man, Pistacchio goes back to the room to Serafina but he forgets about the firecrackers which are accidentally set off, making a lot of noise and waking up the whole neighbourhood. It is now dawn and Pistacchio hasn't made it to bed yet, when the bell rings again: this time they are the relatives come to bring the poor pharmacist to the carriage. Pistacchio doesn't have time to get in bed with Serafina anymore and he can't do anything else other than depart, leaving Serafina pure.
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