Synopsis La Gazza Ladra
Fabrizio Vingradito and his wife Lucia are happy for the return of their son Giannetto from the war. Ninetta, one of the servants, and Giannetto are in love and everyone would bless their marriage except Lucia, who doesn’t trust Ninetta because of the recent loss of a silver fork. Isacco, a local salesman, arrives asking for Ninetta, but Pippo, another servant, sends him away. Giannetto arrives and is greeted by the parents while Ninetta prepares for the party. Also Ninetta’s father, Fernando Villabella returns from the war. However, he was sentenced to death after fighting with his captain and is now a deserter. He asks his daughter for help: he needs money while he is on the run and asks her to sell two pieces of their family silver. The Podestà Gottardo arrives, intent on seducing Ninetta, and she claims that her father is in fact just a homeless person. The Podestà Gottardo’s assistant delivers the arrest warrant for a deserter, but since the Podestà Gottardo has forgotten his reading glasses, Ninetta has to read the warrant, and in order to protect him, she makes up a description of someone totally unlike her father. When they leave, a magpie flies down and steals one of Lucia’s silver spoons. Ninetta sells Isacco the silver her father had entrusted to her. Giannetto and others return, and Lucia notices that a spoon is missing. The Podestà Gottardo starts an investigation. The punishment for stealing is death. Ninetta is accused to be the thief and in her distress drops the money she had from selling her father's silver. Isacco says he has already sold on the spoon which had the inscription "F.V." on it, initials shared by Fabrizio and Fernando. Ninetta in order to protect her father doesn't defend herself and she's arrested.
Di piacer mi balza il cor, Ninettas's Cavatina
Vieni fra queste braccia, Ninetta, Pippo, Giannetto and Chorus' Aria
Il mio piano è preparato, Podestà Gottardo's Cavatina
Antonio, the prison warder, is sorry for Ninetta and says that he will let Giannetto visit her. Ninetta convinces Giannetto that she is innocent but the Podestà Gottardo blackmails Ninetta, saying that if she lets him seduce her, he will spare her but she rather dies than submitting to him. Antonio has heard everything and offers to help. Ninetta asks Pippo to sell a gold cross and hide the money for her father in a chestnut tree. At the trial, Ninetta is found guilty and sentenced to death. When Fernando rushes to save his daughter, he too is sent to prison. Ernesto, a military friend of Fernando, arrives with a royal pardon for Fernando. Pippo shows him the way to reach the Podestà Gottardo and he receive a silver coin for helping, but the magpie snatches it and flies up to the tower. Pippo and Antonio follows it. When Ninetta is taken to make her final speech to the crowd, Pippo and Ernesto, from the tower, say that they have found Lucia’s silver in the magpie’s nest and they ring the bells and both Ninetta and the father are safe.