Il signor Bruschino, Opera by G. Rossini
The Gran Teatro La Fenice presents Il signor Bruschino, Gioachino Rossini’s last comic opera (farsa giocosa) on the stage of the Venice Opera House.
This opera in one act, with a libretto by Giuseppe Foppa based on Le fils par hazard, ou ruse et folie by Alisan de Chazet and E.T.M. Ourry, was premiered on 27 January 1813 at the Teatro San Moisè in Venice, with the full title Il signor Bruschino, ossia Il figlio per azzardo (Signor Bruschino, or The Accidental Son).
Il signor Bruschino is the last – and perhaps the best – of the four Italian farces that Rossini composed between 1810 and 1813, a period when this kind of short and intimate opera with few singers was very common in Venice. They normally featured two lovers, some kind of comic role and some other minor role, and the artists’ talent for acting and comedy were even more important than their singing ability. Rossini’s farces – considered to be lively musical comedies – have witty, comical and sentimental elements, and their scores show influence of Cimarosa and even Mozart. Despite the fact that, unfortunately, this opera is not frequently performed these days, it is nevertheless a sublime composition – both in terms of the ensemble sections and in terms of the vocal writing and instrumentation for the arias.
The action of the opera unfolds in Italy in the 18th century. Sofia and Florville are planning to get married, but Sofia’s guardian, Gaudenzio, wants her to marry the son of Signor Bruschino. Florville disguises himself as the young Bruschino in order to achieve his aim, although in practice this will not be so easy.