UCLA Department of Music and Committee on Fine Arts Productions present
Equivocal Appearances, or Love Will Not Suffer Deceptions
Thursday, Saturday, October 23 and 25, 1975 - 8:00 P.M.
Friday, October 31, 1975 - 8:00 P.M.
Schoenberg Hall - UCLA
Scenic and Lighting Design
Allison Gail Bixby
Musical Edition by Frank A. D’Accone
Continuo realized by Frederick Hammond
Equivocal Appearances, or Love Will Not Suffer Deceptions
(Gli Equivoci nel sembiante)
Libretto by Domenico Filippo Contini
A Note on the Production
by John Hall
When young Alessandro Scarlatti presented his first opera he contributed to a tradition of pastoral composition current in Italian music and letters for nearly a century. Of these vastly popular bucolic entertainments, which delighted so many during the Baroque era, how many remian in the present repertory? Apart from an occasional revival, very few indeed. Recently the extravagant and magical works of early Venetian composers (most notably Cavalli) have enjoyed popular revivials. Yet the smaller, more intimate works of the period remain untouched. To stage one of these pastoral comedies for the modern audience means solving many cultural and theatrical problems which did not exist for the producers of Scarlatti’s first opera.
The performanceyou see tonight is one solution reached by our production staff after many proposals were discarded. We felt that since many of these works were often given in private surroundings for a select audience, we should attempt to recreate this environment in our production: do not place the action in a theater but confine it to the ballroom of a gracious Roman palazo. Since the drama requires none of the marvelous stage effects and machinery so vital to other Baroque operas, let the few properties and costumes suggest the pastoral ambiance of the play as it might have been performed before a private gathering.
Because the visual image of Arcadia to the modern mind is often Rococo rather than Baroque (thanks principally to Fragonard, Boucher and Marie Antoinette), the style of the costumes is of this period: anachronistic for Scarlatti, but more evocative, we believe, for today’s audience. The movements and gestures of the actors are stylized and mannered. The degree of stylization is varied between the older and more serious couple, Clori and Eurillo, and the strictly comic character, Lisetta. While no one on stage behaves as a shepherd, the actors attempt to capture a charm and grace suggesting the pastorale. Musically we have tried to provide accurate readings of Scarlatti’s orchestral and vocal requirements. The opera has been shortened for tonight’s performance, but care has been taken to maintain the structure of Contini’s libretto. While we have deleted many second stanzas of arias and some passages of recitative, most of Scarlatti’s beguiling melodies have been retained.
by Edwin Hanley
The scene is Arcadian. Clori, a nymph, is in love with Eurillo, a shepherd. Eurillo is also loved secretly by Clori’s younger sister, the lively, mischievous Lisetta, who contrives by trickery to insert another shepherd’s name into a love letter which Clori has addressed to Eurillo. Eurillo discovers the letter, accuses Clori of infidelity, and breaks their engagement, leaving the nymph bewildered and disconsolate.
Enter Armindo, a stranger to the land, the exact double of Eurillo. He comes upon Clori. Perceiving that for some reason not yet clear to him she believes him to be her lover Eurillo, with whom she has quarrreled, he fosters the deception, begs forgiveness for his accusations of infidelity, and suggests they flee together. Clori consents and exits. Lisetta enters, and she too mistakes Armindo for Eurillo. Again Armindo fosters the deception, and in the course of their conversation Lisetta admits her secret love for him and that she forged the insertion in Clori’s letter. Armindo forgives her, admists that he is not unattracted to her, but tells her that Clori is his true love. Lisetta is disappointed but not yet ready to admit defeat.
In another part of the woods, Clori comes upon the real Eurillo, who again denounces her as a traitor. It comes as no surprise that this sudden reveral of sentiment upsets her. During the course of Eurillo’s accusations Lisetta enters and bids him desist, taking him aside to remind him that she has already confessed her forgery in the letter. At this Eurillo is totally perplexed and begs Clori to examine the letter. They find that the handwriting of the added name is indeed different from that of the letter. Lisetta confesses her mischief. The lovers scold her as a spoiled child and sing of their renewed love.
Unaware of developments between the real Eurillo and Clori, Armindo meets Clori again, and, overcome by sudden pangs of conscience, betrays his hesitancy to go through with their planned elopement. But when Clori upbraids his inconstancy his resolution returns, and the pledge undying love. The real Eurillo has come upon them at this very moment and overheard their conversation. He is once again convinced of Clori’s infidelty and in an impressive scene goes mad with lealousy. Clori returns to find him raving, attempts to soothe him, and cries for help when he faints. Armindo rushes to her aid, and the misunderstandings are at last resolved when he confronts the two lookalikes. Eurillo regains his senses and is restrained from attacking his rival only when the latter admists his deception and defends Clori’s honor.
Lisetta enters and is overjoyed at the sight of two Eurillo’s. She bids her sister choose the one she wants and consent to take the other: to her a name makes no difference. Armindo pledges his trother to Lisetta and gives her his ring. Eurillo recognizes the ring immediately: it is identical with his own and reveals that Armindo is his long-lost brother, kidnapped in infancy. The reunited brothers embrace, and the opera ends with the two couples singing joyously of their happy wedding day.
Eurillo, a shepherd
Clori, his beloved
Lisetta, her younger sister
Armindo, a shepherd and lost twin brother of Eurillo Don Harrison
*UCLA Faculty Member
UCLA audiences remember DIANE THOMAS for her portrayals of Urbain in Les Huguenots and the title role in Cesti’s Orontea. She has also performed oratorio repertoire with Roger Wagner, Robert Shaw and the Los Angeles Master Chorale. Soloist at the Carmel Bach Festival for the past two years, Diance will be heard in Donizetti’s rarely performed Requiem Mass this month with the William Hall Chorale.
Senior TERESA ITEN was last seen as the lead in the UCLA Theater Arts production of She Loves Me. A winner of the Atwater Kent competition at UCLA, she performed in Offenbach’s Le Mariage aux Lanternes with the Opera Workshop and will sing Susanne in The Marriage of Figaro next year.
CAMERON MACDONALD, a junior music major has performed in opera and musical comedy at UCLA. From South Pacific and She Loves Me to operatic works by Menotti, Eugene Zador and Ned Rorem, his performances have met with critical and popular success. Cameron is also a member of the UCLA Madrigals.
Tenor DON HARRISON studied at California State University in Northridge where he performed in productions of Albert Herring by Benjamin Britten, Of Mice and Men by Carlisle Floyd and Verdi’s Falstaff. Interested in vocal music of the Baroque period, this is Don’s first appearance with the ULCA Opera Workshop.
Assistant to Mr. Sharp
Musical Preparation and Coaching
Program and Publicity
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