Opera Scotland

Fanatico per la musica 1828De Begnis Italian Opera Company

Read more about the opera Fanatico per la musica

The New Year saw the Italian company's director, Giuseppe de Begnis, take his benefit. This took the form of a single scheduled performance, the first in Scotland, of Simone Mayr's farce, originally entitled Che originali. Il fanatico per la musica was one of a number of alternative titles it appeared under.

As was common in those days, even with operas as great as the masterworks of Mozart, the companies were in the habit of tinkering with the score, removing parts, and adding others at will, often introducing music from completely different sources. This seems to have been accepted practice with this particular work, and the resulting pasticcio seems to have provided an enjoyable night at the theatre.

While the critics may have deplored this hotchpotch, it seems to have enjoyed enough of a success for a second performance to have been slotted in immediately.

The Edinburgh Evening Courant of Saturday, 5 January 1828, was quite enthusiastic.

'Signor De Begnis had an overflowing benefit on Thursday evening, when Il Fanatico per la Musica was produced. The music of this opera is selected from several eminent composers, principally, we should think, of the German school; for the style of melody and the mode of accompaniment were both strikingly different in many pieces, from those of the Italian. If we remember rightly, the opera was originally written by Mayer (sic), but not being one of his most successful efforts, it underwent much change, and now few of the original songs and duets are to be heard. We are certain that Rossini had little to do with it as heard on Thursday. On the contrary, the general style of the selected music was that of Mozart, and certainly nione of the music can be more delightful that that of that school.'

'We do not pretend to be intimately acquainted with this opera; but if our musical judgment has not failed us, we should pronounce the duets Una curtiva Suplivances.

Mayr was by now a much-admired elder-statesman of the operatic world, and is recognised as the principal teacher of Donizetti. This may be the only instance of one of his works appearing in Scotland.

Performance Cast

Don Febeo a wealthy Baron and amateur composer

Giuseppe de Begnis

Donna Aristea Don Febeo's daughter

Fanny Ayton

Count Erminio in love with Aristea

Signor Torri

Celestina chambermaid to Donna Aristea

Signora Castelli

Biscroma servant and disciple of Don Febeo

Alessandro de Angeli

Carluccio valet to Don Febeo

Signor Giubilei

Production Cast


Vincenzo Gabussi

Performance DatesFanatico per la musica 1828

Map List

Theatre Royal, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

3 Jan, 19.30 4 Jan, 19.30

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