Salieri: La scuola de' gelosi

Reviewed on Thu 15 Dec, 2016

Good, expressive singing with clear diction is maintained throughout – and whenever Francesca Mazzulli Lombardi (in the role of the Countess) sings, it is absolutely special! This is very enjoyable entertainment, which brought Salieri fame across Europe.

The chief protagonists in this comic opera are a philandering Count and his sadly jealous Countess; and Blasio, a grain merchant, who is madly jealous imagining that his faithful wife, Ernestina, has lovers. The Lieutenant sorts them out by teaching them to feign indifference to their spouses and all ends happily. Further light relief is given by the servants, Carlotta and Lumaca. Fortunately, the libretto is included (some of the recitatives are brilliantly funny). Salieri’s music varies according to status of character as well as situation. Part of Mozart’s famous Rondo alla turca (aka the 'Turkish Rondo' from his Piano Sonata No 11) is the recognisable accompaniment when Blasio comments that he keeps his wife locked up ‘the Turkish way’! The third-act finale is amazingly varied, including solo and ensemble singing, a pastoral aria, a gallop and an echo. Good, expressive singing with clear diction is maintained throughout – and whenever Francesca Mazzulli Lombardi (in the role of the Countess) sings, it is absolutely special! She has one aria reminiscent of 'Dove sono?' in meaning but not equalling Mozart’s music. I must particularly mention the clarity of enunciation that Florian Götz produces in Lumaca’s patter song. Accompaniments vary from those which are simple and very delicately played to the complex and highly meaningful. This is very enjoyable entertainment, which brought Salieri fame across Europe. It would be good to see it staged.
–Ruth Piatkus