Opera Scotland

Don Procopio

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Georges Bizet (born Paris, 25 October 1838; died Le Bougival, near Paris, 3 June 1875)


Carlo Cambiaggio (French translation by Paul de Choudens and Paul Collin).


Libretto I pretendenti delusi by Luigi Prividali, set by Vincenzo Fioravanti (1844).



Composed Rome 1860.

First Performance (ed Charles  Malherbe): Monte Carlo (Salle Garnier), 10 March 1906.

First Performance (original): London (Collegiate Theatre), 2 February 1955.

First Performance in Scotland: Edinburgh (George Square Theatre), 9 February 1978.



Don Procopio is a youthful work reminiscent in style of the Italian comedies popular at the period when Bizet composed it in Rome. Most obviously this includes a late Donizetti work, Don Pasquale, that gained instant popularity from its premiere in 1843 (also in Rome).


Main Characters

Don Procopio, an elderly miser (bass)

Don Andronico, his friend (bass)

Bettina, Andronico's niece (soprano)

Don Odoardo, a young colonel (tenor)

Ernesto, Bettina's brother (baritone)


Plot Summary

Bettina loathes the idea that her uncle has engaged her to marry Don Procopio. She loves Odoardo and is supported in this by her brother Ernesto. They plan a method of putting Procopio off the idea of marriage. Bettina informs the old man of the style in which she will expect him to keep her as his wife. Procopio is horrified at the expense involved and calls the wedding off. Andronico is persuaded to allow Bettina to marry Odoardo.

The Cast

 Don Andronico's niece
Don Procopio
 an elderly miser

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