Il prigionier superbo & La serva padrona

Two shorter operas by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi to librettos by Gennarantonio Federico directed by Henning Brockhaus at the Pergolesi Spontini Music Festival.

1. Il prigionier souperbo (The Proud Prisoner) stars Antonio Lozano, Marina Rodríguez Cusí, Marina de Liso, Ruth Rosique, Marina Comparato, and Giacinta Nicotra. Set design by Henning Brockhaus; costumes by Giancarlo Colis; lighting by Henning Brockhaus and Fabrizio Gobbi.

La serva padrona (The Servant Turned Mistress) stars Alessandra Marianelli, Carlo Lepore, and Jean Méningue. Set design by Benito Leonori; costumes by Giancarlo Colis; lighting by Alessandro Carletti.

Corrado Rovaris conducts the Accademia Barocca de I Virtuosi Italiani. Directed for TV by Tiziano Mancini.  Released 2012, disc has 5.1 dts HD-Master Audio sound. Grade: Help!

Il prigionier superbo and La serva padrona were premiered together in 1733.  Il prigionier superbo was a serious 3 Act work; La serva padrona was a short comic piece presented at the intermission (as was common then). The serious work was soon forgotten, but La serva padrona remained popular for some time; and, per Wikipedia, "is often seen as the quintessential piece than bridges the gap from the Baroque to the Classical period."

Since 1733, these operas been staged twice as a pair.   Both were shown in 1997 in Jesi. Subject recording of Prigionier was presented at the Festival in 2009; Serva Padrona was presented in 2011. These recent productions have the same period orchestra, but both were sharply updated as to direction, sets, and costumes. Mark Mandel wrote a review in the April 2013 Opera News (pages 66-67) that makes this disc sound quite interesting. And any student of the history of Italian opera would have to have this since it is the only video available of these works.

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