La buona figliuola

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La buona figliuola (The Good-Natured Girl or The Accomplish'd Maid), or La Cecchina (Cecchina),[1] is an opera buffa in three acts by Niccolò Piccinni. The libretto, by Carlo Goldoni, is based on Samuel Richardson's novel Pamela. This was Piccinni's most successful Italian opera. There was a sequel entitled La buona figliuola maritata (1761) by the same composer and librettist. La buona figliuola supposta vedova by Gaetano Latilla followed in 1766.

Performance history[edit]

It was first performed at the Teatro delle Dame, Rome on 6 February 1760 with an all-male cast. It was given in London at the King's Theatre on 25 November 1766 with Gaetano Guadagni, Savi, Lovattini, Morigi, Quercioli, Piatti, and Michele; and at Covent Garden in English as The Accomplish'd Maid on 3 December 1866. It was revived as La Cecchina (with alterations) on 7 February 1928 in Bari (the composer's native city), as part of a celebration of the bicentenary of Piccinni's birth.[2]

This opera is said to have been performed by Jesuits in China in 1778, namely at the court of the Qianlong Emperor.[3]


Cast Voice type Premiere, 6 February 1760
Cecchina, a maid soprano castrato travesti Tommaso Borghesi
Armidoro, engaged to Lucinda tenor Carlo De Cristofori
The marquis of Conchiglia, in love with Cecchina tenor Giovanni Lovatini
Lucinda, the marquis' sister soprano castrato travesti Gaspero Savoj
Mengotto, a poor man in love with Cecchina baritone Giuseppe Casaccia
Paoluccia, a maid mezzo-soprano castrato travesti Francesco Pieri
Sandrina, a maid soprano castrato travesti Giuseppe Giustinelli
Tagliaferro, a German soldier baritone Francesco Carattoli


Signora Zamperini in the character of Cecchina, from La buona figliuola, 1769

The marquis of Conchiglia has fallen in love with Cecchina who is a maid. Shocked by the social impropriety of such a match, Cavaliere Armidoro, the fiancé of the marquis's sister, refuses to marry Lucinda. Distraught over losing the man she loves, Lucinda begs the marquis to stop seeing Cecchina. Meanwhile, Cecchina has several problems of her own, including Mengotto, a poor man who is infatuated with her and won't leave her alone, and Sandrina and Paoluccia, two jealous maids who try to cause as much trouble for Cecchina as they can. After many plot twists, the opera ends well when Tagliaferro, a German soldier, reveals that Cecchina is in fact the daughter of a German baron, which enables Cecchina to marry the Marchese without upsetting Armidoro.


Piccinni: La Cecchina, ossia La buona figliuola - Orchestra Serenissima Pro Arte

  • Conductor: Bruno Campanella
  • Principal singers: Alessandra Ruffini, Bruno Pratico, Maria Angeles Peters, Gabriella Morigi, Giuseppe Morino
  • Recording date: 8 January 2002
  • Label: Nuova Era 7123/25 (3 cd)

Piccinni: La buona figliola - Orchestra del Teatro dell'Opera di Roma

  • Conductor: Gianluigi Gelmetti
  • Principal singers: Lucia Aliberti, Enzo Dara, Margherita Rinaldi, Emilia Raviglia, Ugo Benelli
  • Recording date: 4 February 1981
  • Label: Fonit Cetra CDC 95 (2 cd)

Piccinni: La Cecchina, ossia La buona figliuola - La Lyra di Anfione

  • Conductor: Vito Paternoster
  • Principal singers: Serena Farnocchia, Graziella Merrino, Danilo Formaggia, Eun Young Oh, Larissa Schmidt, Eugenia Pont-Burgoyne, Piero Terranova, Davude Pelissero
  • Recording date: 25 September 2001
  • Label: Bongiovanni GB 2293/94-2 (2 cd)



  1. ^ Hunter 1992 and 2001. A variety of other titles have been used, including La Cecchina, ossia La buona figliuola; Cecchina zitella, o La buona figliuola; Cecchina nubile o La buona figliuola; La buona figliuola zitella; La buona figliuola puta; La baronessa riconosciuta; Das gute Mädchen; Der fromme Pige; La bonne fille. "Figliuola" is sometimes rendered as its modern Italian variant "figliola".
  2. ^ Loewenberg 1978, columns 243–245.
  3. ^ Ginguené 1800, pp. 10–11.


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