Aria - dido / willow


More antagonistic still were the reactions to Italian opera written on Shakespearean librettos. Francesco Gasparini’s Ambleto ( Hamlet ), having been played throughout Europe, was taken to London in 1712 by the celebrated castrato Nicolini but quickly disappeared from the scene. Francesco Maria Veracini’s Rosalinda (1744)— As You Like It staged as a polite Italian pastoral and written for a cast of female and castrato sopranos—suffered the same fate. Gli equivoci , an opera buffa by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s only English disciple, Stephen Storace , presents a different case. Written on a libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte (much in the spirit of his—and Mozart’s— The Marriage of Figaro ) and auspiciously received in 1786 at the Vienna Burgtheater (now the Hofburgtheater) and throughout Germany, Gli equivoci , which is the only known setting of The Comedy of Errors , was considered too “Mozartian” and never made its way to London.

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