Il grillo del focolare

Il grillo del focolare is an opera in three acts by Riccardo Zandonai to an Italian libretto by Cesare Hanau based on The Cricket on the Hearth by Charles Dickens. It premiered on 28 November 1908 at the Teatro Politeama Chiarella in Turin (Politeama Chiarella di Torino).

Il grillo del focolare
Opera by Riccardo Zandonai
Mrs. Peerybingle (soprano), figurino di artista ignoto per Il grillo del focolare (1908) - Archivio Storico Ricordi ICON005086.jpg
Costume design for Mrs. Peerybingle in the premiere
LibrettistCesare Hanau
Based onThe Cricket on the Hearth
by Charles Dickens
28 November 1908 (1908-11-28)
Teatro Politeama Chiarella, Turin


Dickens' popular novella was the basis for several operas, including Giuseppe Gallignani's Il grillo del focolare which premiered in Genoa in 1873,[1] Karl Goldmark's Das Heimchen am Herd (libretto by A. M. Willner) which premiered in Berlin (1896) and New York (1910),[2] and a setting by English composer Alexander Mackenzie (president of the Royal Academy of Music) which was composed to a libretto by Julian Sturgis in 1900. All of these predated Zandonai's setting, which helped bring him to the attention of publisher Giulio Ricordi.[3] Following success in Torino, Zandonai's opera had successful performances in Nice and Genoa. It has received occasional performances in Europe throughout the century and a live performance with the Orchestra filarmonica "G. Rossini" di Pesaro conducted by Ottavio Ziino (presented by Città di Osimo, Festival Opera lirica) was broadcast by RAI in 1986 and was made available on DVD by House of Opera.[4][5] The North American premiere was given in a concert version by Teatro Grattacielo in October 2017, conducted by Israel Gursky.[6][7]


Role Voice type Premiere cast, 28 November 1908
(Conductor: Pietro Cimini)
John Peerybingle, a carrier baritone Edmondo Grandini
Dot, his wife soprano Albertina Baldi
Caleb Plummer, a poor toymaker working for Tackleton baritone Francesco Federici
Bertha Plummer, his blind daughter mezzo-soprano Bice Lucchini
Edward Plummer, her brother (son of Caleb) tenor Angelo Pintucci
May Fielding, the fiancée of Edward soprano Ernestina Bertinetti
Tackleton, a toy-maker bass Ugo Cannetti


  1. ^ Hollington, Michael (1 January 2015) "Dickens to Zandonai" (PDF). Accademia Roveretana degli Agiati di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti Retrieved October 13, 2017.
  2. ^ McSpadden, J. Walker (1921). Opera Synopses: A Guide to the Plots and Characters of the Standard Operas. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company. p. 100.
  3. ^ Warrack, John; West, Ewan, eds. (1992). The Oxford Dictionary of Opera. Oxford University Press. p. 776. ISBN 978-0-19-869164-8.
  4. ^ Il grillo del focolare : commedia musicale in tre atti. OCLC. OCLC 70692409. Retrieved October 13, 2017.
  5. ^ "DVD: Zandonai: Il grillo del focolare". House of Opera. Retrieved October 13, 2017.
  6. ^ "Il grillo del focolare". Teatro Grattacielo. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
  7. ^ Yohalem, John (18 October 2017) "The piccolo on the hearth" parterre box

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