Le donne curiose

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Le donne curiose
Opera by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari
Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari 1906.jpg
The composer in 1906
Translation The Inquisitive Women
Librettist Luigi Sugana
Language Italian
Based on Le donne curiose
by Carlo Goldoni
Premiere 27 November 1903 (1903-11-27) (in German)
Hoftheater, Munich

Le donne curiose (English: The Inquisitive Women) is an opera in three acts by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari to a text by Luigi Sugana after Carlo Goldoni's play.

Performance history[edit]

The first dramatic work by Wolf-Ferrari to achieve more than local notice, it was first performed in Munich on 27 November 1903 in a German translation as Die neugierigen Frauen. The first performance in Italian was in New York on 3 January 1912 with a distinguished cast led by Arturo Toscanini, including Geraldine Farrar and Hermann Jadlowker. Tullio Serafin conducted the first performance in Milan on 16 January 1913.


Role Voice type Premiere Cast,
27 November 1903
(Conductor: Hugo Josef Rheinberger)
First performance
in Italian,
3 January 1912
(Conductor: Arturo Toscanini)
Arlecchino bass Georg Sieglitz Antonio Scotti
Beatrice mezzo-soprano Charlotte Huhn Rita Fornia
Colombina soprano Hermine Bosetti Geraldine Farrar
Florindo tenor Hans Koppe Hermann Jadlowker
Leandro tenor Hans Breuer Jeanne Maubourg
Lelio baritone Andres de Segurola
Ottavio bass Paul Bender Adam Didur
Pantalone baritone Friedrich Brodersen Antonio Pini-Corsi
Rosaura soprano Ella Tordek Bella Alten
Lunardo bass
Mènego bass
Mómolo bass
Eleonora soprano
Asdrubale tenor
Almorò tenor
Alvise tenor
First gondolier tenor
Second gondolier bass


The story is a comedy set in 18th-century Venice about two wives checking up on the goings-on at their husband's club.


Wolf-Ferrari is an eclectic. The artistic lineage of Le donne curiose is plainly traceable to Mozart, though the influence of both Die Meistersinger and Falstaff is apparent. The orchestra is a relatively small one and in some respects the treatment harks back to an earlier day, when leading motives were less known. The music is distinguished by lyric simplicity and rhythmical variety. The prevailing character is improvisational, well adapted to the slight tale of harmless intrigue which it accompanies. There are several easily recognized numbers: the trios in the first act, the quartet in the second, Rosaura's love soliloquy and the succeeding pages of almost Mozartean simplicity, the prelude to the last act, the barcarolle chorus and the final ensemble. There is no great emotional intensity, nor intellectual depth. The means fit the end.



External links[edit]