Crispino e la comare
Crispino e la comare is an opera
Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...

 by Luigi Ricci and Federico Ricci
Federico Ricci
Federico Ricci , was an Italian composer, particularly of operas.Born in Naples, he was the younger brother of Luigi Ricci, with whom he collaborated on several works....

  with an Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

A libretto is the text used in an extended musical work such as an opera, operetta, masque, oratorio, cantata, or musical. The term "libretto" is also sometimes used to refer to the text of major liturgical works, such as mass, requiem, and sacred cantata, or even the story line of a...

 by Francesco Maria Piave
Francesco Maria Piave
Francesco Maria Piave was an Italian opera librettist who was born in Murano in the lagoon of Venice, during the brief Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy. His career spanned over twenty years working with many of the significant composers of his day...


Performance history

The premiere
A premiere is generally "a first performance". This can refer to plays, films, television programs, operas, symphonies, ballets and so on. Premieres for theatrical, musical and other cultural presentations can become extravagant affairs, attracting large numbers of socialites and much media...

 took place on 28 February 1850
1850 in music
-Events:*Jenny Lind tours America, with Julius Benedict as her accompanist.*Soprano Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient marries her third husband, landowner Heinrich von Bock.-Published popular music:*Stephen Foster** "Camptown Races"** "Molly Do You Love Me?"...

 at the Teatro San Benedetto in Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

The work was very popular during the 19th Century, and was an especial favourite of touring Italian companies in the Americas, and in the Asia-Pacific region generally.

It had its London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 premiere on 17 November 1857 at St James's Theatre, its Calcutta premiere in 1867 at the Calcutta Opera House and its Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

n premiere on 11 August 1871 at the Princess's Theatre, Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater...



Role Voice type Premiere cast
28 February 1850
(Conductor: - )
Crispino Tachetto, the cobbler bass Carlo Cambiaggio
Fabrizio, a doctor baritone
Baritone is a type of male singing voice that lies between the bass and tenor voices. It is the most common male voice. Originally from the Greek , meaning deep sounding, music for this voice is typically written in the range from the second F below middle C to the F above middle C Baritone (or...

Luigi Rinaldini
Mirabolino, a doctor and apothecary bass Luigi Ciardi
Contino del Fioro, a Tuscan nobleman tenor
The tenor is a type of male singing voice and is the highest male voice within the modal register. The typical tenor voice lies between C3, the C one octave below middle C, to the A above middle C in choral music, and up to high C in solo work. The low extreme for tenors is roughly B2...

Giuseppe Pasi
Don Astrubale di Caparotta, a Sicilian miser bass Angelo Guglielmini
Bortilo, a mason tenor
Annetta, Crispino's wife soprano
A soprano is a voice type with a vocal range from approximately middle C to "high A" in choral music, or to "soprano C" or higher in operatic music. In four-part chorale style harmony, the soprano takes the highest part, which usually encompasses the melody...

Giovannina Pecorini
Lisetta mezzo-soprano
A mezzo-soprano is a type of classical female singing voice whose range lies between the soprano and the contralto singing voices, usually extending from the A below middle C to the A two octaves above...

Paolina Prinetti
La Comare, the fairy mezzo-soprano Giovannina Bordoni


The scene of the story is set in 17th century Venice. Crispino is a poor cobbler who cannot make ends meet. He is helped by a fairy who encourages him to start practicing medicine, though he cannot even read. He is successful with the fairy’s help but cannot bear prosperity gracefully and mistreats his wife. The fairy makes him aware of his faults and the cobbler’s family is happily reunited.


A complete recording was made in 1994 by the San Remo
Sanremo or San Remo is a city with about 57,000 inhabitants on the Mediterranean coast of western Liguria in north-western Italy. Founded in Roman times, the city is best known as a tourist destination on the Italian Riviera. It hosts numerous cultural events, such as the Sanremo Music Festival...

 Symphonic Orchestra. An Italian film based on the opera was produced in 1938, directed by Vincenzo Sorelli.


  • The Oxford Dictionary of Opera, by John Warrack and Ewan West (1992), 782 pages, ISBN 0-19-869164-5
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