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Crispino e la Comare

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Title: Crispino e la Comare  
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Subject: Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich of Russia
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Crispino e la Comare

Crispino e la comare (The Cobbler and the Fairy) is an opera written collaboratively by Luigi Ricci and Federico Ricci with an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave.

Performance history

The premiere took place on 28 February 1850 at the Teatro San Benedetto in Venice.

The work was very popular during the 19th century, and was an especial favourite of touring Italian companies in the Americas, and in the Asia-Pacific region generally.

It had its London premiere on 17 November 1857 at St James's Theatre, its Calcutta premiere in 1867 at the Calcutta Opera House[1] and its Australian premiere on 11 August 1871 at the Princess's Theatre, Melbourne.[2]


Role Voice type Premiere cast[3]
28 February 1850
(Conductor: - )
Crispino Tachetto, the cobbler bass Carlo Cambiaggio
Fabrizio, a doctor baritone Luigi Rinaldini
Mirabolino, a doctor and apothecary bass Luigi Ciardi
Contino del Fioro, a Tuscan nobleman tenor Giuseppe Pasi
Don Astrubale di Caparotta, a Sicilian miser bass Angelo Guglielmini
Bortilo, a mason tenor
Annetta, Crispino's wife soprano Giovannina Pecorini
Lisetta mezzo-soprano Paolina Prinetti
La Comare, the fairy mezzo-soprano Giovannina Bordoni


Place: Venice
Time: the 17th century

Crispino is a poor cobbler who cannot make ends meet. He is helped by a fairy who encourages him to start practicing medicine, though he cannot even read. He is successful with the fairy’s help but cannot bear prosperity gracefully and mistreats his wife. The fairy makes him aware of his faults and the cobbler’s family is happily reunited.


  • 1938: An Italian film based on the opera was directed by Vincenzo Sorelli
  • 1974: Complete recording, RAI orchestra & chorus, conductor Marco della Chiesa ; Mario Chiappi (Crispino), Emilia Raveglia (Annetta), Luisella Ciaffi-Ricagno, Gianfranco Pastine, Alesandro Corbelli & Angelo Nostri. MRF Records, private edition.
  • 1994: A complete recording was made by the San Remo Symphonic Orchestra.


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