L'oca del Cairo
|Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|
L'oca del Cairo is an opera buffa in three acts, K. 422, begun by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in July 1783 but abandoned in October. The complete three act libretto by Giovanni Battista Varesco remains. Mozart completed seven of the ten numbers of the first act, plus some recitative; his music amounts to about 45 minutes.
The title is usually translated as The Goose of Cairo but sometimes as The Cairo Goose. Don Pippo, a Spanish Marquess, keeps his only daughter Celidora locked up in his tower. She is betrothed to Count Lionetto, but her true love is Biondello, a wealthy gentleman. Biondello makes a bet with the Marquis that if he can rescue Celidora from the tower within a year he wins her hand in marriage. He succeeds by having himself smuggled into the tower garden inside a large mechanical goose.
Mozart's correspondence shows he was seeking a comical plot to please the Viennese, but abandoned Varesco's libretto after six months because of its silly ending, a farcical travesty of the Trojan Horse legend.
The first stage performance was on 6 June 1867 at Théâtre des Fantaisies-Parisiennes, Paris. Several versions have been prepared by adapting other music. The first performance (in concert) was in Frankfurt in April 1860 with numbers taken from Lo sposo deluso and some concert arias. Fragments from both these incomplete operas plus Der Schauspieldirektor have been combined as Waiting for Figaro, performed in 2002 by the Bampton Classical Opera.
There are a few recordings.
|Role||Voice type||Premiere Cast, June 6, 1867
(Conductor: Charles Constantin)
|Donna Pantea, his wife, believed to be dead||soprano|
|Calandrino, Donna Pantea's nephew, friend
of Biondello and lover of Lavina
|Lavina, Celidora's companion||soprano|
|Chichibio, Don Pippo's major-domo, in love
- L'oca del Cairo: Score and critical report (German) in the Neue Mozart-Ausgabe
- L'oca del Cairo, addendum: No. 4 Siano pronte': Score in the Neue Mozart-Ausgabe
- David Cairns, Mozart and his Operas, 2006
- Libretto (composed numbers only) and Dramatis Personæ at http://opera.stanford.edu/Mozart/OcaDelCairo/