An Operetta by Pergolesi
For Soprano, Bass, and String Orchestra
(Characters : (Bass-Baritone) (Soprano)
Scene : Uberto's Dressing-room.
Seventeenth-centruy Italians liked variety in their evenings at the Opera.
Between the acts of the serious works were placed slighter, humorous pieces, termed 'Intermezzi.' La Serva Padrona (The Servant Mistress) is such a piece. It was first performed in 1733, on a gala evening in Naples, when the birthday of the Empress Christina was celebrated.
The plot is very simple. The gloomy old Uberto, tired of quarrelling with his wilful servant girl, Seipina, decides to marry someone. Serpina thinks she would like to be his wife, and disguises the serving-man Vespone (who never gets a word in edgeways), pretending that he is a ferocious fellow and that she is going to marry him. Poor Uberto, partly afraid and partly sorry for Serpina, agrees to marry her himself; then the truth is disclosed, and all ends happily.
Uberto (a Gentleman):
Sorpina (his Servant):
Vespone (his Valet):