Farsa giocosa per musica in two acts by Giovanni Simone Mayr
Music by Giovanni Simone Mayr «e varî Celebri Maestri»
First performancee: Bergamo, Città Alta, 13th September 1811
Selection and adaptation by Francesco Micheli and Giorgio Pesenti on the critical edition by Candida Billie Mantica © Fondazione Teatro Donizetti
The fifth production of the festival will be Il piccolo compositore di musica, Saturday 2 December at the Donizetti Theatre. This azione teatrale in two acts by Johann Simon Mayr was staged on 13 September 1811 as the final recital of the Charitable Lessons. As with other recitals, Mayr employed the model of the 18th-century metamelodrama, in which a singing company is represented as they stage a performance and the pupils of the Charitable Lessons – including the young Gaetano – are staged as they interpret themselves in the throes of putting the final recital on stage. In Il piccolo compositore di musica, Donizetti acts as the protagonist, ironically presented as a young aspiring composer sure of his talent (the verses are famous: “Vasta ho la mente, rapido l’ingegno | pronta la fantasia, e nel comporre | un fulmine son io”). Despite the comic tone, Mayr’s promotional intent is clear, as he truly believes in the abilities of his young pupil. Donizetti is joined by four classmates from the Charitable Lessons, playing themselves: Antonio Dolci, Giuseppe Manghenoni, Giuseppe Pontiroli and Antonio Tavecchi. From the musical point of view, the opera alternates original sections (such as the Introduction) with pre-existing excerpts from works by other famous contemporary composers. Francesco Micheli will stage the production with the students of Bottega Donizetti as part of a project involving several Bergamo educational institutions.