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L'inganno felice

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Title: L'inganno felice  
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Subject: 1812 in music, The opera corpus, Farsa, Teatro San Moisè, List of operas by Rossini, List of opera genres
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L'inganno felice

L'inganno felice (The Fortunate Deception) is an opera in one act by Gioachino Rossini with a libretto by Giuseppe Maria Foppa. Foppa reworked the libretto which Giuseppe Palomba had written for an opera of the same name by Paisiello (1798).

Rossini called his opera a farsa, although as Richard Osborne explains: "Its designation as a farsa is misleading in the light of its semiseria status as a romantic melodrama with buffo elements." [1]The work has much in common with French Revolutionary operas such as Cherubini's Les deux journées.

It was first performed at the Teatro San Moisè, Venice on 8 January 1812 and was an instant success. By the end of the decade it had been heard in theatres throughout Italy as well as in Paris and London. Following this triumph, Rossini was commissioned to write three more operas by the manager of the Teatro San Moisè.

L'inganno felice will be performed at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, Italy in August 2014. The production is a revival from 1994 by Graham Vick.


Role Voice type Premiere Cast, 8 January 1812
(Conductor: - )
Isabella soprano Teresa Giorgi-Belloc
Duca Bertrando tenor Raffaele Monelli
Batone bass (or baritone) Filippo Galli
Tarabotto bass Luigi Raffanelli
Ormondo bass (or baritone) Vincenzo Venturi


Time: The distant past
Place: A seaside mining village in Italy[2]

The villainous Ormondo was in love with Isabella, who was happily married to Duke Bertrando. When she rejected his advances, Ormondo spread vicious rumours about her reputation and bribed Batone into casting her adrift in a boat on the sea. But she was rescued by a local miner, Tarabotto, who then disguised her as his niece, Nisa.

The opera begins ten years later: Duke Bertrando is due to visit the mines. Isabella, who is still in love with her husband, finally reveals her true identity to Tarabotto who promises to help her. The duke arrives with Ormondo and Batone. The duke is still in love with his wife even though he believes the rumours that she was unfaithful to him. Batone catches sight of "Nisa" and realises she is Isabella in disguise. He plots with Ormondo to abduct her that night but Tarabotto overhears their plan. The two villains are unmasked before they can kidnap Isabella, whose true story is revealed when she shows everyone her duchess' clothes and a portrait of the duke she has kept with her. Bertrando and Isabella are reunited.


Year Cast:
Isabella, Bertrando, Batone, Tarabotto
Opera House and Orchestra
Label [3]
1996 René Massis,
Raúl Giménez,
Rodney Gilfry,
Pietro Spagnoli
Mark Minkowski,
Le Concert des Tuileries Orchestra
(Recorded at performances in the Théâtre de Poissy, 12-17 June)
Cat: 0630 17579-2
2005 Corinna Mologni,
Kenneth Tarver,
Marco Vinco,
Lorenzo Regazzo
Alberto Zedda,
Brno Chamber Soloists
(Recorded at concert performances in the Kurtheater, Wildbad, July)
Audio CD: Naxos
Cat: 8.660233-34


  • Holden, Amanda (Ed.), The New Penguin Opera Guide, New York: Penguin Putnam, 2001. ISBN 0-14-029312-4
  • Osborne, Charles, The Bel Canto Operas of Rossini, Donizetti, and Bellini, Portland, Oregon: Amadeus Press, 1994 ISBN 0-931340-71-3
  • Osborne, Richard: Inganno felice, L' in 'The New Grove Dictionary of Opera', ed. Stanley Sadie (London, 1992) ISBN 0-333-73432-7
  • Booklet notes to the Minkowski recording

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