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At La Scala, the rediscovery of Baroque opera continues, with Li zite ngalera by Leonardo Vinci on stage
A "commeddeja pe museca" in the 'Neapolitan' language which enjoyed overwhelming success and arrives at the Piermarini for the first time three hundred years after its debut

Teatro alla Scala Foundation Presents

“ Season 2022-2023 – Opera ”
The Teatro alla Scala continues with its rediscovery projectItalian Baroque opera: after the exceptional success enjoyed in 2021 with The Calisto by Francesco Cavalli, from Venice we reach the Kingdom of Naples with Li zite ngalera (“The bride and groom on the ship”), set to music by Leonardo Vinci on the irresistible Neapolitan verses of Bernard Saddumene.

Five performances on the bill from 4 to 21 April 2023, for an opera and a composer making their absolute debut on the Scala stage. The plot centered on misunderstandings and disguises of absolute comedy and the effective characterization of environments and characters are entrusted to the directorial imagination of Leo Muscato, at the scenes of Federica Parolini and the costumes of Silvia Aymonino, while the musical direction is placed in the hands of a recognized specialist such as Andrea Marcon, who will conduct musicians from theScala Orchestra on original instruments to which components de will be added The Baroque Orchestra Zither. In the voice roles a young, breezy and largely native-speaking cast with Raffaele Pe at the Scala debut, Chiara Amarù, Frances Pia Vitale, Frances Aspromonte, Marco Filippo Romano, Antonino Siragusa, Filippo Mineccia, Filippo Morace, Alberto Allegrezza is Fan Zhou.

The composer
Leonardo Vinci, born in Strongoli near Crotone on an unspecified date in the last decade of the seventeenth century, he received his musical training in Naples, at the Conservatorio dei Poveri di Gesù Cristo, then entering the service of the Prince of Sansevero. He wrote works for the main theaters of Naples, in particular for the Teatro dei Fiorentini, becoming together with Leonardo Leo the most requested author in the genre of the "commeddeja pe museca", a small comic or sentimental work full of naturalistic cues taken from the life of the streets towns. His growing fame led him to try his hand at opera seria in the major Italian cities: in 1724 he introduced Farnace (with Farinelli as singer) in Rome, where he returned in 1726 with La Didone Abandoned and in 1730 with Artaserse, both on verses by Metastasio. while in 1725 he presented Iphigenia in Tauride in Venice. In 1725 he became part of the Royal Chapel of Naples, where he remained until his death in 1730 in circumstances that have never been clarified, so much so that there was talk of poisoning.

The work (or commeddeja pe museca)
"There zite ngalera” is the first musical comedy of which the score has been preserved. Represented at the Teatro dei Fiorentini in Naples on January 3 of 1722, had the libretto written by Bernardo Saddumene, pseudonym of Andrea Bermures. Leonardo Vinci's opera enjoyed overwhelming success from the first performance as well as in subsequent performances, so much so that almost three years later, in 1724, it was considered a safe investment to present it again in Naples, at the Teatro della Pace. The success was also repeated in 1729, when the comedy was presented at the Teatro Capranica in Rome in a version reworked in Tuscan by Saddumene himself, with the music arranged by Giovanni Fischietti and entitled "La costanza".

The plot of "There zite ngalera” takes place in Vietri, near Salerno, and is quite intricate, focusing on four young lovers with clear voices, Ciomma, Belluccia, Carlo and Titta (respectively three sopranos and a contralto) and on three old men with dark voices, Meneca, Col'Agnolo and Captain Federico (respectively two tenors and a bass). After being revived in 1979, the musical comedy has only been performed live on rare occasions. To remember among the chapters of the rediscovery, the performances at the Teatro della Pergola in Florence in 1978, for the Maggio Fiorentino, directed by Roberto De Simone and conducted by Massimo de Bernart.

The director
“The wonderful thing” – he observes Andrea Marcon in an interview with Carlo Mazzini for the Scala magazine – “is that, in this way, the public comes to the theater driven by the curiosity to hear something new, and not by repertoire titles they know by heart. Because otherwise the only thing to discuss is the direction, which becomes the only novelty. If, on the other hand, operas to be rediscovered are planned – has anyone ever heard Geminiano Giacomelli's Merope in the theatre? – the same curiosity of those who go to the cinema to see a new film is created in the public. Which was the sense of theater already at the time. For Lizite, in our case, exactly three centuries have passed since the first performance. Today we can safely say that this musical comedy by Vinci is fresh, bright and vivid again. I am sure that it will not fail to amaze and excite the Scala public”.

Leo Muscato he imagined for Shut them up a very mobile scene (36 scene changes in all) that alternates between different rooms of an inn on the port of Naples. Everything takes place in a single day, Shrove Tuesday, in a plot which, apart from the linguistic difference, recalls Goldoni's theatre. In the interview with Elisabetta Tizzoni, again for the Veronese magazine, she comments: “With a work like this you have to start from scratch, starting to understand when and for whom it was created, for which audience it was conceived. In reality it was born for the Teatro dei Fiorentini, a popular theater in the heart of Naples which had specialized in those years in comic farces in music. So comedy and music, not opera as we understand it. The common thread is the "wrong" love. Everyone loves the wrong person: Belluccia is in love with Carlo, he is in love with Ciomma and the latter is in love with Peppariello (Belluccia disguised as a boy). It's a continuous short circuit. To create further comedy, in addition to youthful loves, there are those of the old for the young: Col'Agnolo in love with Ciomma and Aunt Meneca infatuated with Peppariello. Furthermore, it was the musical practice of the time that certain characters had soprano voices, and therefore we find Carlo played by a soprano; Belluccia who, even if she disguises herself as Peppariello, is another soprano; Titta who is a contralto and is therefore another female voice; while zia Meneca is interpreted by a tenor”.

(Andrea Marcon, photo credit ©Marco Borggreve)


Very musical Naples

Eighteenth-century Naples – first Spanish, then Austrian, finally Bourbon – was the pyrotechnic forge of European musical theatre. Indicated by the philosophes as the natural homeland of music, proclaimed in 1739 by a French visitor "the capital of the musical world", the city of Partenope enjoyed throughout the eighteenth century an undisputed international prestige, based on the richness and multiplicity of an activity sprawling musical, private and public, religious and worldly. It was fueled by the excellence of the four conservatories: born in the sixteenth century as charitable institutions dedicated to the education of orphaned and abandoned boys, they had invented a virtuous economic model: the excellent musical preparation of the students guaranteed them a profession which in turn created an income for the conservators themselves and a service to the whole community. In doing so, ever new generations of composers and performers (singers, instrumentalists, etc.) from Naples colonized the whole of Europe, from Lisbon to St. Petersburg. And the coveted title of “Neapolitan chapel master” came to correspond to today's Harvard graduate. In such an effervescent context, the phenomenon of musical theater exploded, in the richness of a permanent experimentation which had among its most original and fascinating products the musical comedy. The genius of this genre lies in the liveliness that composers such as Leonardo Vinci - who died while still young, but after having dominated the theatrical scene of the whole of Italy - were able to give the Neapolitan language, restoring intact, in works such as Li zite ngalera, the spontaneous fragrance and seductive of a daily life perfumed with genuine aromas. (Raffaele Mellace)
At La Scala, the rediscovery of Baroque opera continues, with Li zite ngalera by Leonardo Vinci on stage

Other information of interest

One hour before the start of each performance, in the foyer of the Galleries, Claudio Toscani will hold an introductory conference to the work.

The representation of April 4th will be broadcast on RAI Radio3.
The April 21 performance will be broadcast in live stream on the platform LaScala TV.


Director Andrea Marcon

Direction Leo Muscato Scenes Federica Parolini Costumes Silvia Aymonino Lights Alessandro Verazzi

Characters and performers

Charles Celmino Francesca Aspromonte
Belluccia Mariano (Peppariello) Chiara Amarù
Ciomma Palumbo Frances Pia Vitale
Federico Mariano Philip Morace
Meneca Vernillo Alberto Allegrezza
Titta Chestnut Filippo Mineccia
Col'Agnolo Antonino Siragusa
Ciccariello Raffaele Pe
Kidnapped Marco Filippo Romano
Assann Matías Moncada *
Na Schiavottella Fan Zhou *

*Students of the Academy of specialization for opera singers of the Teatro alla Scala

Orchestra of the Teatro alla Scala on historical instruments
with the participation of instrumentalists de The Baroque Orchestra Zither

New Teatro alla Scala production


Li zite ngalera

Comedy in music in three acts
Booklet of Bernard Saddumene

Music by Leonardo Vinci

First performance: Naples, Teatro dei Fiorentini, 3 January 1722


April 4, 2023 at 8 pm "before"
repeats on 12, 15, 18, 21 April 2023 at 8pm

Who organizes

Teatro alla ScalaThe New Regio Ducal… more

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