La scuola de 'gelosi

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Work data
Title: La scuola de 'gelosi
Title page of the libretto of the German version, Riga 1784

Title page of the libretto of the German version,
Riga 1784

Shape: Dramma giocoso
Original language: Italian
Music: Antonio Salieri
Libretto : 1st version: Caterino Mazzolà
2nd version probably: Lorenzo Da Ponte
Premiere: Version 1: December 27, 1778
Version 2: April 22, 1783
Place of premiere: 1st version: Teatro San Moisè , Venice
2nd version: Burgtheater, Vienna
Playing time: approx. 2 ½ hours
Place and time of the action: Milan
  • Count Bandiera ( tenor )
  • Countess Bandiera ( soprano )
  • Blasio , grain dealer ( bass )
  • Ernestina , Blasio's wife (soprano)
  • Lumaca , Blasio's servant (bass)
  • Carlotta , a maid (soprano)
  • The Lieutenant , Blasio's cousin and friend of the Count (tenor)

La scuola de 'gelosi (Eng. The School of the Jealous ) is a dramma giocoso by Antonio Salieri based on a text by Caterino Mazzolà .

La scuola de 'gelosi was one of his most popular comic operas during Salieri's lifetime and was proven to be on European repertoire until 1809. With its impetuous joy in playing and the charming wit of the plot, the work is almost symptomatic of the Italian opera buffa around 1780. Numerous copies of scores and textbooks in libraries throughout Europe attest to the former rank of this piece, which is given in various German translations in addition to the Italian version has been. The piece was also translated into Russian, Polish and Spanish. For the series of performances of the opera at Esterházy Palace in the 1780/81 season, Joseph Haydn wrote the insert aria Dice benissimo chi si marita (Hob. XXIVb: 5) for the role of Lumaca (bass).

One of the countless admirers of the opera was Johann Wolfgang von Goethe , who wrote enthusiastically in a letter to Charlotte von Stein of August 28, 1784 :

"L'Opera d'hier etoit charming, et bien executé, c'etoit la Scuola de Gelosi, Musique de Salieri, opera favori du public, et le public a raison. Il ya une richesse, une varieté etonnantes, et le tout est traité avec un gout tres delicat. Mon coeur t'appelloit a chaque air, surtout au finales et au quintets qui sont admirables. »

“The opera yesterday was engaging and well performed. It was 'La scuola de gelosi', music by Salieri, the opera is the audience's favorite piece and the audience is right. The opera is very rich [in music], very varied, and everything is written with good taste. My heart was moved by every aria, especially the finals and the quintets, which are adorable. "

- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe : Letter of August 28, 1784 to Charlotte von Stein

Adolph Freiherr Knigge discusses the opera in detail in his Dramaturgische Blätter dated March 28, 1789 , published in Hanover . He writes:

“The flourishing, light style, the pleasant, often new singing, the fine economy that prevails especially in the first finale, the good choice of wind instruments, which is so appealing, and various original, comic traits characterize this opera, and give it its own character. ”Individual numbers such as the finale of the first act or the quintet Ah! He analyzes la rabbia mi divora from the second act in more detail. He expresses himself as follows about the said quintet: “Find harmony, without puffiness, with clear, pure singing, art with clarity and distinctness and an instrumental of its own = accompaniment that is completely removed from the singing voices, but which rises more than obscures them we are united here and woven into a masterful whole. This quintet is worth more than a hundred meaningless expression and life, even fugues painfully written down according to the strictest rules. There is art here, too, but it is not just a skeleton that we admire; Rather, the charming singing throws a silk robe around her, which gently hugs her from neck to heel, and curls of gold play around her crown. All people can learn to bring this skeleton together very well through diligence, but only a heavenly being that we call genius breathes life into it and gives it the power of delight. "

- Adolph Knigge : Dramaturgische Blätter from March 28th 1789

What is striking about La scuola are the many ensembles and shorter ariosa structures that Salieri uses to counteract the schematism of the number opera. In the tonal language, the brilliant conversational tone of the opera buffa predominates, but there are also lyrical moments and approaches to musical character drawing, especially in the role of Contessa (soprano).

Salieri restricts the instrumentation in the first version to strings and two oboes and two horns; However, despite this economic occupation, he manages to write a multi-layered and extremely colorful score. The wind instruments are often released from their usual function as "filler voices" and used as soloists.

For the second version, Salieri expanded the instrumentation (e.g. to include the more modern clarinets) and composed many numbers anew or adapted them to the vocal profile of other singers, such as the substitution of the virtuoso aria La speranza lusinghiera with the sensitive rondo Ah se già i miei sospiri . With this new version, the Italian Opera in Vienna was reopened in 1783. The outstanding ensemble of this house (including Nancy Storace , Francesco Benucci and Michael O'Kelly ), which Salieri had put together during his trip to Italy, was to be of the greatest importance for the creation of Mozart's Da Ponte operas .

Around 1785 the overture was anonymously combined with parts of the overture to Salieri's intermezzo La partenza inaspettata (1779) and compiled into a three-movement symphony in D major. This is played comparatively often today under the name La Veneziana and gives the audience a very one-dimensional picture of the musical dramatist Salieri, who is often dismissed as an Italian buffa routine.

A German translation of the libretto by Johann Christoph Bock and Christoph Friedrich Bretzner was published in 1784 in Riga under the name Die Schule der Jeaersuchtigen, or the Narrenspital. In this version, the names of the characters were also Germanized. The grain dealer Blasio is called here "Balzer Trespe" and the servant Lumaca is called "Jockel".

The opera was performed in English by Bampton Classical Opera in 2017 .

Salieri's comic opera La scuola de 'gelosi (The School of Jealousy) , performed in English by Bampton Classical Opera in 2017


Salieri: La scuola de 'gelosi , Emiliano d'Aguanno, Francesca Lombardi Mazzulli, Federico Sacchi, Roberta Mameli, Florian Gotz, Milena Storti, Patrick Vogel ; L`arte del mondo, Werner Ehrhardt (conductor) DHM 2016

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Claire Seymour: The School of Jealousy : Bampton Classical Opera bring Salieri to London. Opera Today, September 13, 2017, accessed May 14, 2020 .
  2. ^ Salieri: La Scuola de 'Gelosi CD review - spirit and poise from a much maligned musician. The Guardian, accessed June 3, 2020 .