Carlo Goldoni was a great drama author and also a librettist. Il burbero di buon cuore is in fact inspired by one of his play. Among his most famous works as librettist, we find Il filosofo di campagna (written for Baldassare Galuppi), La buona figliola (Niccolò Piccinni), Il mondo della luna (put in music by Haydn, Paisiello, Galuppi), Lo speziale (Haydn), La virtuose ridicole (Paisiello). Many of his plays have inspired operas: during the Twentieth Century, the musician Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari dip in Goldoni's works and wrote opera jewels like Le donne curiose (1903), I quattro rusteghi (1906), Gli amanti sposi (from Ventaglio, 1925), La vedova scaltra (1931) e Il campiello (1936).
Synopsis Il burbero di Buon Cuore
Angelica, Ferramondo’s niece, is in love with Valerio Argenti, a rich and well-born youth. Marina, the old man’s governess, favours the couple’s plans, but Giocondo, Angelica’s brother, objects to the relationship. He is bankrupt, partially due to the excessive expenses incurred by his wife Madama Lucilla, who loves parties and luxury. Giocondo wants to place Angelica in a convent, because he has already squandered her dowry and also because he wants to avoid more expenses. When Angelica finds this out, she blames Lucilla for the plan but doesn't feel comfortable enough to confess her love for Valerio to her uncle, which could solve the problem. The old grumpy Ferramondo says he hates both his nephew and his nephew’s wife in particular for their disorderly conduct. When he discovers Giocondo’s intentions with regard to Angelica, he conceives the idea of marrying her to his friend and chess-partner Dorval, and providing the dowry himself. Dorval agrees, but after hearing Angelica’s confession of her love for Valerio, he desists and promises to help her. Although Valerio resolutely enters the house to speak openly to the old man and offers to solve Giocondo’s money problems and to marry Angelica without a dowry, he is forced by Angelica and Marina to hide instead of facing Ferramondo’s ire. When he is discovered, he poses as a jewel salesman. When Marina finally finds the chance to reveal Angelica and Valerio’s love and to plead for them, the old man consents.