I quatro rusteghi

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I quatro rusteghi
Comic opera by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari
Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari 1906.jpg
The composer in 1906
TranslationThe Four Curmudgeons
LanguageItalian (Venetian dialect)
Based onI rusteghi
by Carlo Goldoni
19 March 1906 (1906-03-19) (in German)

I quatro rusteghi (The Four Curmudgeons, The Four Ruffians, in Edward J. Dent's translation School for Fathers) is a comic opera in three acts, music by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari to a libretto by Luigi Sugana [it] and Giuseppe Pizzolato based on Carlo Goldoni's 18th-century play I rusteghi. The opera is written in Venetian dialect, hence "quatro" instead of "quattro".

Performance history[edit]

Title page piano-vocal score, 1906

The opera was first performed as Die vier Grobiane in German at the Hoftheater in Munich on 19 March 1906. Its first performance in Italian was on 2 June 1914 at the Teatro Lirico in Milan under Ettore Panizza. The work was first performed in the United States by the New York City Opera on 19 October 1951 with Laszlo Halasz conducting. Wolf-Ferrari's most successful full-length work, it is still regularly performed.


Role Voice type Premiere cast, 19 March 1906[1]
(Conductor: Felix Mottl)
Lunardo bass Georg Sieglitz [de]
Margarita mezzo-soprano Margarethe Preuse-Matzenauer
Lucieta soprano Ella Tordek
Simone bass Paul Bender
Marina soprano Gehrer
Maurizio bass Josef Geis
Filipeto tenor Hans Koppe
Cancian bass Alfred Bauerberger
Felice soprano Hermine Bosetti
Riccardo tenor Raoul Walter


The action takes place in 18th century Venice.

Four curmudgeonly husbands vainly attempt to keep their women in order. The women decide to teach their menfolk a lesson by allowing Lunardo's daughter Lucieta to see Filipeto, the son of Maurizio, before their pre-arranged marriage, even though the men have forbidden this.



  1. ^ Casaglia, Gherardo (2005). "Die vier Grobiane, 19 March 1906". L'Almanacco di Gherardo Casaglia (in Italian).


  • Anderson, James, The Complete Dictionary of Opera & Operetta Wings Books, 1993 ISBN 0-517-09156-9

External links[edit]