Opera Tickets Italy

Teatro Filarmonico

Platea, € 77
I Galleria, € 49
II Galleria, € 36

Il Campiello, Opera by E. Wolf-Ferrari

Il Campiello, Opera by E. Wolf-Ferrari

The opera Il Campiello by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari is staged at the prestigious and highly decorated Teatro Filarmonico in Verona. This three-act opera is commonly referred to by its Italian title which, in English, means “The Little Square”. It is widely regarded as a keystone of the Italian repertoire that is, nonetheless, a somewhat lesser-known piece overseas. The Teatro Filarmonico's staging gives fans of Wolf-Ferrari – and music lovers generally – the chance to see Il Campiello in all its comedic glory. A commedia lirica, or lyrical comedy, it was first performed in Milan, on 11 February 1936 at the La Scala opera house.

Born in 1876, Wolf-Ferrari is known for his comic operas of which Il Campiello was among his last. The librettist for the opera was Mario Ghisalberti who adapted the story from an 18th-century Venetian Carnival production that had been written by the notable Venetian playwright, Carlo Goldoni. The action is set in Venice, where Wolf-Ferrari grew up before leaving the city to study art in Rome and then Munich. The focus of the opera is on the inhabitants of a campiello, a type of small square in Venice, usually one that's hemmed in by surrounding buildings and waterways. In Il Campiello many of the characters seem larger than life but this appears to reflect the composer's view of at least some neighbourhoods in his home city. Most of the parts are written in the local Venetian dialect but there are also two more traditional, Neapolitan-voiced roles.

In Il Campiello, the plot revolves around Astolfi, a baritone part, who is staying at a tavern on the square. Several women in the neighbourhood spy Astolfi and think he may be suitable marriage material for themselves or, in some cases, their daughters. Three younger women, in particular, Luçieta, Gnese and Gasparina – all soprano roles – get caught up in trying to avoid or attract Astolfi depending on the moment and the demands of their mothers. Two widows, Dona Pasqua and Dona Cate, tend to like interfering in the love matches of their daughters. For comic effect, both roles are tenor parts sung by men.

Verona's Teatro Filarmonico is a superb Italian venue to see one of the stalwarts of the Italian comic opera repertoire, Il Campiello. As such, audience members are likely to enjoy something that offers a true taste of early 20th-century Italian opera when they attend a performance.

image Teatro Filarmonico Verona / Per gentile concessione Fondazione Arena di Verona / Foto Gilles Alonso