Crispino e la Comare

Rimembranze dell'opera
Crispino e la comare
Opus 143, PP. 142.15

This 1850 comic opera was the last composed by the two Ricci brothers, Luigi (1805-59) and Frederico (1809-77). Principally the work of Luigi, it may be one of the best Italian comic operas of its era. Its main character is a cobbler (a comic bass) who becomes a rich physician with the help of a magical fairy. The comedy lies in that he is illiterate and must be led back to realize how his wealth has led him astray.

The sixteen performances reported in the Corriere cremonese indicate that it was wildly popular in its first year with a usual two performances in each succeeding year except for 1873. The instrumentation lacks only the second flugelhorn that marks the band in its final figuration. The graceful melodies are embellished with some demanding clarinet accompaniments. The computer-generated performance illustrates how many colors Ponchielli could draw from what many might consider a limited palette.

Again, one must note that Ponchielli seems to have left Cremona in early 1873, so the later performances were directed by the second leaders, Bissocoli and Cesare. And after 1873, only Bissocoli was left as Cesare had left, stating he was emigrating to Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Date on Score: Tuesday, February 18, 1869

Performance Dates: Monday, March 29, 1869, Piazza Garibaldi; Sunday, April 4, 1869, Piazza Garibaldi; Sunday,April 18, 1869, Piazza Cavour; April 25, 1869, Piazza Cavour; Sunday, Thursday, May 20, 1869, Piazza Garibaldi; Sunday,July 18, 1869, Pubblico passeggio; October 31, 1869, Piazza Garibaldi; March 6, 1870, Piazza Garibaldi; Sunday, July 3, 1870, Pubblico passeggio; Thursday, May 4, 1871, Piazza Cavour; Sunday, July 16, 1871, Pubblico passeggio; Thursday, May 9, 1872, Piazza Garibaldi; Wednesday, November 13, 1872, Piazza Garibaldi; Saturday, November 1, 1873, Piazza Cavour; Thursday, March 12, 1874, Piazza Cavour; Thursday, March 26, 1874, Piazza Cavour.


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