Calandro

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The Schloss Pillnitz near Dresden, where Calandro premiered in 1726

Calandro is an opera buffa in three acts composed by Giovanni Alberto Ristori to a libretto by Stefano Benedetto Pallavicini. The libretto was based on the comedy Il Calandro by Bernardo Dovizi (Cardinal Bibbiena). In turn, Dovizi's play borrowed elements of the plot from Plautus's Menaechmi and the character Calandro from Boccaccio's Decameron It was first staged on 2 September 1726 in Dresden.

Background and performance history[edit]

Calandro premiered on 2 September 1726 in the court theatre at the Schloss Pillnitz (Pillnitz Castle) near Dresden at the request of Maria Josepha of Austria to celebrate the return of her husband, Crown Prince Frederick Augustus from Warsaw.[1] It was probably Germany's first opera buffa, and after hearing a performance during the 1728 Carnival season in Dresden, Frederick Augustus' father August II asked for a copy of the score.[2] Three years later, in 1731, it became the first Italian opera presented in Russia. There it was given in Moscow for the celebration of the coronation of Empress Anna. It was produced under his and his father's direction with thirteen actors and nine singers including Ludovica Seyfried, Margherita Ermini and Rosalia Fantasia.

Like most of Ristori's operas Calandro eventually fell into oblivion. However, it was revived in a recording by the Batzdorfer Hofkapelle in 2004, and will have a fully staged performance in June 2011 as part of the Potsdam Sanssouci Music Festival.[3]

Synopsis[edit]

  • Calandro, disillusioned with mankind and wanting to return to nature, spends his days in a forest with his tame bears. There, Alceste, leader of the shepherds, engages him as the tutor for his son, Nearco. Through a series of twists and turns, the unruly Nearco contrives to get rid of his tutor and in the process sort out the problems of his friend Licisco who is in love with Clizia.[3]

Recordings[edit]

Operas set to the same story[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Premiere date from Casaglia (2005) and Mengelberg, Rudolf (1916) p. 6
  2. ^ Buelow (2004) p. 474; Sadie (1998) p. 201
  3. ^ a b Potsdam Sanssouci Music Festival (2011) p. 5
  4. ^ Zórawska-Witkowska (2007) p. 139

Sources[edit]