Il Signor Bruschino
Aunt Caroline’s Will
(Le Testament de La Tante Caroline)
The University of California at Los Angeles
The Department of Music and the
Committee on Fine Arts Productions
An Evening of Comic One-Act Operas
The UCLA Opera Workshop
Jan Popper, Director
Natalie Limonick, Associate Director
March 13, 14, 1970 - 8:15 P.M.
March 15, 1970 - 2:00 P.M.
Il Signor Bruschino by Giacchino Rossini (1792 - 1868). In 1813, when Il Signor Bruschino first appeared, Rossini was a mere lad of twenty, but already an old veteran of opera composition with some seven stage works to his credit. The success of his La Pietra del Paragone in 1812 had precipitated a commission for two farces from the San Moseè Theater in Venice.
Bruschino, a harmless frolic of mistaken identity, was one of the works submitted. Though eclipsed a few short months later by the reputation-founing Tancredi and Italian in Algiers, it nonetheless has enjoyed its own popularity. Jacques Offenbach presented it in a revised version at his Bouffes - Parisiens in Paris in 1857. And it even found its way into the illustrious Metropolitan Opera House with no less that di Luca and Pinza in the leading roles.
The score, which preced the great Barber of Seville by three years, sparkles with typical Rossini-isms: felicitous melodic grace, rhythmic verve, comic characterization in the vocal line, and, of course, the Rossini crescendo, that device whereby a simple motivic idea is repeated and repeated, gradually increasing in volume, until a situation is brought to a climax of fever-pitch excitement.
The overture is notorious for the tongue-in-cheek moment when the second violins use their bows to tap out a rhythm on their music stands.
In 1829, Rossini, for some inexplicable reason, laid down his creative pen forever, but by that time he had produced a total of thirty-eight operas.
Aunt Caroline’s Will: Albert Rouseel (1869 - 1937) came to music relatively late in life, having spent his early manhood in the French navy. Voyages to French Indo-China opened his eyes to Oriental culture and art, influences of which can be felt in his opera-ballet Padmavati, in his choral symphony Les Evocations, and in some of his chamber and piano music. Starting stylistically as a post-impressionist, he became neo-Classicist from 1927 on. Trained by Vincent d’Indy in the classical tradition, he later counted amongst his students “modernists” such as Erik Satie and Edgar Varèse, thus creating an interesting link to the contemporary scene. With Ravel he shared the enthusiasm for American jazz (e.g., Jazz dans la nuit, for voice and piano, 1928). His outspoken flair for dance rhythms and popular-type melody shows itself in today’s operetta, his last work for the stage. We hope you will enjoy Roussel’s excursion into the realm of light music.
Il Signor Bruschino
or The Son by Chance
by Gioacchino Rossini
Text by G. M. Foppa
(Founded on a French comedy
by Alissan De Chazet and E.T. M. Ourry)
English Translation by Ian Strasfogel
English Recitatives by Natalie Limonick
Scenic and Lighting Designer
(in order of appearance)
Florville, the suitor of Sofia
Marianna, a maid
Filiberto, an innkeeper
Gaudenzio, guardian of Sophia
The villa of Gaudenzio, during the
siesta hours on a summer day, c. 1800.
The following morning.
Later the same day.
For the Sunday matinee, two-piano
accompaniment will be used
instead of the orchestra:
Il Signor Bruschino:
Aunt Caroline’s Will:
Next Opera Workshop Production
The UCLA Opera Workshop, in conjunction with the University Symphony Orchestra, will present the West Coast premiere of
The Mines of Sulphur
Music Drama in three acts by
Richard Rodney Bennett
Friday and Sunday
May 8 and 10, 1970
8:30 P.M., Royce Hall