Information about the opera
LO SPEZIALE DRAMMA GIOCOSO DA RAPPRESENTARSI A ESTERHAZ NEL TEATRO DI S. A. IL PRENCIPE ESTERHAZY DE GALANTHA &c. &c. NELL’AUTUNNO DELL’ANNO 1768.
For the inauguration of the prince’s new opera house at Esterháza Palace, probably on the occasion of the visit of Prince Albert Kasimir of Saxony, Duke of Teschen and Palatine of Hungary, and his wife Archduchess Maria Christine.5
Weitere Aufführungen im März 1770 in Wien mit Haydn und seinem Ensemble beim Freiherrn von Sumerau. Am 14. Oktober 1774 kam es erneut zu einer Aufführung.
Lo speziale - Dramma giocoso
Editor: Helmut Wirth; Reihe XXV, Band 3;
1959, G. Henle Verlag München
Es fehlen im Autograph:
- Sinfonia (existiert aber in zeitgenössischen Abschriften)
- Die Anfangstakte (wohl 30 an der Zahl) der Auftrittsarie des Mengone Tutto il giorno pista, pista im I. Akt, Arie Nr. 2.
- Sämtliche 6 Szenen des 3. Aktes außer die Arie des Volpino Salamelica, Semprugna cara und das Finale.
Bei der Aufführung am 14. Oktober 1774 kam es zu Änderungen in der Partitur: Es waren 1774 keine 2 Flöten verfügbar. Diese Anpassung betrifft auch die Arie der Grilletta Caro Volpino amabile.
|Mengone||Uomo di Spezieria||tenor|
|Grilletta||Pupilla sotto tutella di Sempronio||soprano|
|flute||Franz Sigl und ein Oboist|
|oboe||Vittorino Colombazzo und Michael Kapfer, Georg Kapfer|
|horn||Thaddäus Steinmüller, Carl Franz oder Johann May (see violins)|
|violin/viola||Luigi Tomasini (cm), Joseph Dietzl, Joseph Purcksteiner (2. violin), Carl Franz oder Johann May (2. violin), Christian Specht (viola)|
|violoncello||Joseph Weigl, Ignaz Küffl|
|double bass||Carl Schiringer|
Carlo Goldoni’s libretto ‘Lo speziale’ was premiered around 1754 in the Teatro San Samuele in Venice in a joint composition by Vincenzo Pallavicini and Domenico Fischietti. Haydn used this template, but in a massively shortened form, cutting almost a third of the scenes. Haydn also intervened heavily in the cast: the two parti serie Albina and Lucindo were removed from the original libretto, which Haydn did not do in his next Goldoni opera ‘Le pescatrici’. He also cut a supporting buffa role, the one of Cecchina. However, it seems reasonable to assume that Haydn eliminated these roles for technical reasons and less for dramaturgical considerations.
|2.||Aria e Recitativo Mengone Tutto il giorno pista, pista|
|Recitativo Sempronio, Mengone Oh bellissima nuova!|
|Recitativo Volpino, Sempronio, Mengone Servo, signor speziale|
|3.||Aria Sempronio Questa e un’altra novità|
|4.||Recitativo Volpino, Mengone Mengon amico|
|5.||Aria Mengone Per quel che ha mal di stomaco|
|6.||Recitativo Volpino Oh che bravo garzone!|
|Recitativo Volpino, Grilletta Grilletta Siete matto?|
|7.||Aria Grilletta Caro Volpino amabile|
|8.||Recitativo Volpino Maledetta fortuna!|
|9.||Aria Volpino Amore nel mio petto|
|10.||Recitativo Mengone, Grilletta Ho fatta la fatica|
Terzetto Finale Grilletta, Mengone, Sempronio
Quanti son di questa pol vere
|12.||Recitativo Sempronio, Volpino Canaglia maledetta!|
|13.||Aria Volpino Un certo tutore in Francia vi fu|
|14.||Recitativo Sempronio Eh capisco|
|15.||Aria Sempronio Ragazzaccie, che senza cervello|
|16.||Recitativo Grilletta, Mengone Ancora il cor mi trema|
|17.||Aria Grilletta A fatti tuoi badar tu puoi|
|18.||Recitativo Mengone Deh! son pur sfortunato!|
|Recitativo Grilletta, Sempronio Sì, sì, per far dispetto|
Recitativo Volpino, Sempronio, Grilletta
Fortuna, se potessi
Recitativo Mengone, Sempronio, Volpino, Grilletta
Ah razza maledetta!
Quartetto Finale Grilletta, Volpino, Mengone, Sempronio
Colla presente scrittura privata
|Sempronio, Volpino Oh disgraziati!|
|Volpino Ho vinto|
|Mengone, Grilletta Penso … dico …|
|Sempronio, Volpino Or che tutto è concluso|
|20.||Aria Volpino Salamelica, Semprugna cara|
|Sempronio, Grilletta, Mengone Che bel parlar grazioso|
|Volpino, Sempronio, Mengone Grilletta non trovara|
Finale Grilletta, Volpino, Mengone, Sempronio
|7a.||Aria Grilletta Caro Volpino amabile [Zweite Version]|
Mengone, his assistant, stands in Sempronio’s pharmacy and complains about the boring and monotonous work. Sempronio arrives and we immediately learn of his foibles: he reads the newspapers all day long, getting lost in the headlines. He reads ‘In Paris, an apothecary has married his ward’. This naturally makes him think of his own situation and Grilletta. She is his ward, however not because of her looks, but because of her money. Consequently, he tries to isolate her from the rest of the world so as not to have any unwelcome male competitors.
Volpino, who has his eye on Grilletta, comes to the pharmacy under the pretext of having two prescriptions to be mixed. Volpino immediately wants to speak to Sempronio but is referred to Mengone. After all, Sempronio has more important things to do: studying the newspaper.
While Mengone prepares to mix the two illegible prescriptions, Volpino tries to find out more about Grilletta from him, but the latter is not very forthcoming. Mengone is also in love with Grilletta but has much more chance. After Mengone leaves the room, Volpino also wants to leave but meets Grilletta. She coldly dismisses him, if only because of her guardian. Volpino immediately tries to lure her out of her reserve with a provocation, since he knows of her love affair with Mengone, which Grilletta naturally rejects indignantly.
Grilletta goes off and Volpino draws a sad conclusion.
In the next scene, Mengone meets Grilletta, who finally wants to clear up their ‘relationship’. But Mengone fears Sempronio, which causes Grilletta incomprehension and anger. They get closer but are interrupted by Sempronio, who of course immediately wants to know what’s going on. Grilletta explains their closeness as Mengone feeling a sudden discomfort. Sempronio briefly feels Mengone’s pulse, but his thoughts are already lost in the newspaper. He casually gives both of them a task, so they stay together. Love is in the air! Grilletta and Mengone use Sempronio’s absent-mindedness to flirt. Sempronio, now engrossed in an atlas, suddenly needs a compass. He briefly leaves the room. It’s finally Mengone and Grilletta’s chance, but Sempronio comes back far too quickly and catches them red-handed.
Sempronio is very upset about the doings of this ‘treacherous’ pair. To top it all, Volpino also comes along and clumsily asks for Grilletta’s hand. Sempronio resolutely says no. However, despite his awkward request, Volpino still manages to get Sempronio’s attention with a newspaper hoax:
‘In France, a guardian prevented his ward from marrying and was therefore punished by caning.’
Sempronio shows little understanding and is more determined than ever to settle things. If all this wooing doesn’t stop, there will be trouble! Grilletta – and now it has been said – should be his wife.
This threat is too much for Mengone. While Grilletta quickly regains her composure after Sempronio’s outburst of anger, Mengone’s heart sinks – much to Grilletta’s annoyance. She gives him a choice: a commitment to their love or separation. Mengone doesn’t have the courage to make any kind of decision and so, without hesitation, Grilleta leaves the ‘dump’.
Mengone is depressed. He wants to comfort Grilletta, but doesn’t know how to, and disappears from the scene. Grilletta, on the other hand, is so furious that she would marry anyone who proposed to her on the spot. At that moment, Sempronio arrives and proposes to Grilletta, not without first emphasising the advantages of marriage to a ‘mature, settled gentleman’. To Sempronio’s surprise, Grilletta agrees without much fanfare, precisely to get back at Mengone. In the hope of a ‘yes’, but also in order to close the alliance as quickly as possible, Sempronio has summoned a notary even before talking to Grilletta.
Volpino and Mengone find out about Sempronio’s plan independently of each other. Both want to have a last chance and so pretend to be notaries. Sempronio is a bit confused, after all he has only appointed one notary, but since neither of them is willing to give up or to renounce his fee, he accepts both. After all, two are better than one. Grilletta, on the other hand, becomes suspicious.
A marriage contract is drawn up between Grilletta and Sempronio, dictated by Sempronio and written down by both ‘notaries’. When Sempronio and Grilletta are supposed to sign, they want to read through the contract first. That’s when the hoax is exposed. In the contract written by the ‘notary Volpino’, the name Sempronio has been replaced with Volpino, while in that written by the ‘notary Mengone’, the name has been changed to Mengone. The marriage falls apart and the ceremony ends in a commotion.
(Since scenes 1 to 3 are missing from the score of this act, and scene 4 is also incomplete, only the contents of the libretto can be reproduced here.)
Volpino has another creative idea to win Grilletta. He has news to bring to Sempronio from Persia and Turkey. Sempronio is suspicious at first, but curiosity gets the better of him, and he reads the newspaper article. ‘The King of the Moluccas is willing to spend a lot of money to bring an apothecary to his country to prevent all sorts of epidemics and diseases from breaking out.’ With a fortune in mind, Sempronio immediately agrees and is ready to leave his homeland. Certain of victory, Volpino already sees a future with Grilletta.
Meanwhile, Grilletta and Mengone become reconciled.
In the meantime, Volpino has disguised himself as a Turk who is supposed to collect Sempronio. He deceitfully tries to quickly marry Grilletta – after all, Sempronio should also think about his ward and know that she has been taken care of. Sempronio thinks of the wealth that awaits him in Turkey and immediately agrees.
Grilletta and Mengone also find out about Volpino’s perfidious plan and so Mengone also disguises himself as a Turk. Grilletta now introduces her guardian Sempronio to the Turk who is to marry her. Sempronio, only thinking about the money, agrees once more. You can marry four Turks, he says. The wedding ceremony is carried out quickly and Volpino is thus tricked. Eventually Volpino comes back and can only admit defeat. Furious, he takes off his disguise.
Now Sempronio has to realise that he has been badly deceived. There will be no Turkey and no Grilletta. In the end, both men accept defeat.6