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SA 23/03/2024 Hours 20:00 Tickets no longer available
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Teatro della Gioventù

45 minuti
No intermission


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La serva padrona

One of the most famous 18th century intermezzos performed by the students of the Carlo Felice Opera Academy

Intermezzo in two parts
Music byGiovanni Battista Pergolesi
Libretto by Gennarantonio Federico

A new production by Fondazione Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova

Characters and interpreters:

Gianpiero Delle Grazie / Willingerd Gimenez

Gabriella Ingenito / Martina Saviano

Mauro Barbiero

Mattia Torriglia

Marina Bianchi

La serva padrona is one of the most famous examples of the musical genre of the intermezzo. Intermezzos were particularly popular in the 18th century; they were comic actions in two parts to be performed between acts of a serious opera. At that time, opera seria did not include any comic or light elements, so the introduction of the intermezzo was intended to dilute the tension of the main performance and offer the audience a moment of entertainment. La serva padrona was composed by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi in 1733 as an intermezzo to the opera seria Il prigioniero superbo, and was soon revived independently in Italy and France, achieving great popularity. The libretto, by Gennarantonio Federico, focuses on two characters: Uberto, a rich but naive man, and the cunning servant Serpina. The dynamics between the two protagonists develop in a linear fashion: Uberto, tired of Serpina’s despotism, pretends to want to take a wife. Serpina, eager to appropriate her master’s goods, declares in turn that she wants to marry, and presents her future husband to Uberto: Captain Tempesta, none other than the servant Vespone (mime part), in disguise. When Uberto is faced with the choice between giving Serpina and her dowry to Tempesta, or taking her to wife himself, he accepts the second option without hesitation. The inspired and effective music, incisive language and comic immediacy of the Serva padrona represented a major innovation in the intermezzo genre, and can be considered precursors of many of the stylistic elements that a few decades later would become characteristic of the opera buffa genre.