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Crispino

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Crispino

by Francesco Maria Piave

Genre: Fairy Tale, Operetta
Setting:
Format of Original Source: Plot summary
Recommended Adaptation Length: 15 Minutes

Candidate for Adaptation? Promising

EXCERPT:

The first act of this charming little fairy opera opens with a unison chorus of apothecary’s apprentices, “Thump, thump” (“Batti, batti”). Crispino, a poor cobbler, over head and ears in debt, whose wife Annetta tries to help him out by ballad singing, is seated at his bench at work in front of his house. In the intervals of the chorus the Count, who figures in a side plot, sings a beautiful romanza, “Thou Beauteous as an Angel art” (“Bella siccome un angelo”). Then Crispino bewails his hard fortune in a quaint melody, “Once a Cobbler” (“Una volta un ciabattino”), after which Annetta introduces herself with a canzonetta, “My Pretty Tales and Songs” (“Istorie belle e leggere”), leading up to a minor duet between them. In the sixth scene a buffo aria, “I am a Bit of a Philosopher” (“Io sono un po’ filosofo”) is sung by Dr. Fabrizio. At last Crispino gets into such desperate straits that he resolves to make way with himself. He is about to jump into a well when a fairy appears and dissuades him, at the same time giving him a purse of gold and offering to set him up in business as a doctor, telling him he must look about him whenever he has a patient, and if she is not present he will be successful. The act closes with a duet for Crispino and Annetta, “Since you have found a Fairy” (“Troffo so, basta per ova”).



COMMENTS:

A fairy’s inexplicable magic (a doctor’s patients survive only when the fairy is NOT present) makes for a dull full evening, but might make for a charming 15-minute musical.  (Spoiler:  turns out the fairy is actually death, y’see….)


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