Opera Scotland

Fanatico per la musica Che originali, o Il trionfo della musica; Il fanatico per la musica

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Simone Mayr (born Mendorf, 14 June 1763; died Bergamo, 2 December 1845)


Gaetano Rossi



First Performance: Venice (Teatro San Benedetto), 18 October 1798.

First Performance in UK: London, 19 June 1806.

First Performance in Scotland: Edinburgh (Theatre Royal), 3 January 1828.



Che originali is a two-act farce of a kind particularly popular in Venice. It was Mayr's first international success, often performed under alternative titles, generally meaning Mad about Music . The title that took a hold in Britain was Il Fanatico per la musica. There is a question over how much of the work seen in Edinburgh was the handiwork of Mayr. Loewenberg's Annals of Opera specifies that the London premiere in 1806 took the form of a pasticcio, in other words an opera cobbled together using music by several composers. In Edinburgh no composer is credited in the press, and reports suggest that a variety of sources were used. Certainly Mayr is not mentioned specifically.


Main Characters

Don Febeo, a wealthy Baron (bass)

Donna Aristea, his daughter (soprano)

Don Erminio, her lover (tenor)


Plot Summary

Don Febeo, a wealthy aristocrat of mature years, is besotted with music, and sees himself as both a great performer and expert composer. He takes this to extremes, with the interior decor of his mansion derived from musical themes, and his domestic staff given musical names. His daughter Aristea has not escaped, having been raised with a vocal technique appropriate for an operatic diva. The main business of the plot shows the lengths to which she is obliged to go to persuade her father that Don Erminio is a desirable suitor, in spite of his apparent lack of musical talent.

The Cast

 servant and disciple of Don Febeo
 valet to Don Febeo
 chambermaid to Donna Aristea
Count Erminio
 in love with Aristea
Don Febeo
 a wealthy Baron and amateur composer
Donna Aristea
 Don Febeo's daughter

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