Florian Leopold Gassmann (1729-1774)

Opera Seria

Florian Leopold Gassmann (1729-1774)

Commedia per musica in three acts to a libretto by Ranieri de’ Calzabigi, first performed in 1769 at the Burgtheater in Vienna.

New coproduction Teatro alla Scala of Milan and Theater an der Wien.

Staging and costumes : Laurent Pelly
Set design : Massimo Troncanetti
Lighting : Marco Giusti
Choreography : Lionel Hoche


Pietro Spagnoli : Fallito, impresario
Mattia Olivieri : Delirio, poète
Giovanni Sala : Sospiro, maître de chapelle
Josh Lovell : Ritornello, primo musico
Julie Fuchs : Stonatrilla, prima donna
Andrea Carroll : Smorfiosa, seconda donna
Serea Gamberoni : Porporina, secondo uomo
Alessio Arduini : Passagallo, maître de ballet
Alberto Allegrezza : Bragherona, mère de Porporina
Lawrence Zazzo : Befana, mère de Smorfiosa
Filippo Mineccia : Caverna, mère de Stonatrilla

Les Talens Lyriques & l’Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala
Christophe Rousset : Direction musicale


“The plot of L’Opera Seria is quite astonishing. In essence, the story is about a theatre director, an impresario, who intends to create an opera in his theatre. He has to contend with the librettist, the composer, the singers, the ballet master, the copyist and even the singers’ mothers. It’s an absolutely incredible fantasy and a mock documentary on the creation of an 18th-century opera. It is obviously a farce, right down to the names of the characters.
Porporina undoubtedly refers to Porporino, a great castrato of the time, while the singer Stonatrilla means that she has a false-sounding trill. Smorfiosa’s name immediately announces her coquettishness and Sospiro, the composer, sighs with his hand over his heart. Even more amusing is the librettist Delirio, who goes into all the delirium of the libretto, and Fallito, the theatre manager, who points to bankruptcy !
Apart from that, Gassmann is a composer who, despite his Germanic name, writes in the Neapolitan style of the time. He was a teacher and public figure in Vienna, long before Salieri, who he actually trained. Last but not least, it is a tremendous opportunity for Les Talens Lyriques to perform for the second time at La Scala in Milan, in a new production staged by Laurent Pelly, with whom I have longed to work for so many years.”

– Christophe Rousset