The story of La vera costanza opens on a storm which makes shipwreck the Baroness Irene's boat and the people with her on a beach. The nearby village is the place where Irene's nephew, Count Errico, has fled to be with Rosina, a poor girl of a fisher-people family, whom the Baroness believe in love with her nephew merely for his wealth. The Baroness proposes to the girl to exchange the nephew with Villotto, another young man who's also wealthy, as well as not very bright. However, nobody knows that Rosina and Errico have already got married and have a child. Errico takes advantage of the situation to test his wife's loyalty. When also Irene is convinced of the girl's good intentions, admits her in the family. A plot which puts together, according to the general trend of the time, noble and folk characters, using in turns the serious genre, strictly bel canto, the larmoyant, to reach even a more brilliant and comical one. The long and elaborated endings of the acts and the style which will be re-enriched after by Mozart, such as the profound emotional arias and the rich orchestration, make this opera one of the great examples of Vienna's classical world.
Synopsis La Vera Costanza
During a dreadful storm, a boat manages to land at a fishing village, and the Baroness Irene, the Marquis Ernesto, Villotto and the baroness's maid Lisetta are rescued by two local people, Masino and his sister. The Baroness has heard rumours that Count Errico, her nephew, is about to marry a poor girl called Rosina, who turns out to be Masino's sister. Irene's plan was to try marrying the poor girl to Villotto and she intends on carry it on. She has also promised to marry the Marquis Ernesto if she succeeds in her plan. What she doesn't know is that Errico has married Rosina five years before and has had a child. The Baroness efforts to persuade Rosina to accept Villotto make Rosina suffering even more for her loyalty to her husband, who's been absent for a while. When, unexpectedly Errico arrives, he threatens to kill Villotto. Ernesto, who wants the Baroness' plan to succeed, threatens Masino to persuade his sister to accept her new suitor. Errico tests his wife’s loyalty by speaking heartlessly, and Villotto declares to be giving up on the marriage and going to war while Rosina begs the Baroness to give her death. Masino and Villotto are about to fight when Lisetta warns them to hide from Errico and Ernesto and they run away. Rosina asks Errico to kill her, but instead he embraces her. The Baroness is angry to find them reunited and shows Errico a picture of an intended bride; when he shows admiration, Rosina has the confirmation that she has lost the husband for ever.
In the Baroness’s castle Ernesto confides in Rosina because his happiness depends on her acceptance of Villotto. He is overheard and misinterpreted by the Baroness and Errico. Rosina decides to run away and Errico, angry at her allegedly infidelity, orders Villotto to find and kill her. Lisetta realises the misunderstanding and convinces Errico of Rosina's loyalty. Errico regrets his own behaviour and goes off looking for her. Rosina has fled with her son to the fishing village and has hidden in an abandoned tower. Masino arrives looking for her, and falls asleep exhausted. When Villotto arrives and is about to kill him, Lisetta stops him. The Baroness and Ernesto arrive and everyone starts looking for Rosina. Errico finds her and begs her for forgiveness.
The Baroness tries her final shot at dividing the couple and sends Errico and Rosina counterfeit letters, each apparently signed by the other. Both understand the trick and are even more ready to re-embrace their love. The Baroness finds a happy reunited family and can't help but accepting Rosina as her nephew’s wife, while deciding to keep her promise to marry Ernesto.