L'americano (Piccinni)

L'americano (The American) is an intermezzo for four voices in two acts by composer Niccolò Piccinni with an Italian libretto by Angelo Lungi. The opera was premiered on 22 February 1772, at the Teatro Valle in Rome in celebration of Carnival.[1] Musically, this work is unusual as it is much lengthier than most intermezzos and has an abundance of arias but very few ensemble numbers and duets.[2]


Cast Voice type Premiere cast:
22 February 1772
(Conductor: - )
Cavalier Lisandro, an Italian aristocrat baritone
Donna Aurora, Lisandro's fiancée and an aristocrat soprano castrato travesti
Villotto, an American tenor
Silvia, Aurora's friend but of a lower social class soprano castrato travesti


Villotto, an American, befriends the Cavalier Lisandro on his visit to the California peninsula. Lisandro decides that it would be fun to take Villotto back to Europe to the chagrin of his fiancée, Donna Aurora. Villotto makes all sorts of social errors that upset the aristocratic Aurora. To make matters worse, Lisandro begins to fall in love with Aurora's friend Sylvia. After all sorts of misadventures, Aurora ends up falling for Villotto and Lisandro ends up happily with Sylvia.[3]




  1. ^ Lungi, Angelo (1772). L' Americano, intermezzi per musica a quattro voci da rappresentarsi nel Teatro alla Valle degl'illustrissimi sig. Capranica nel carnevale dell'anno 1772. Catalog of the Servizio Bibliotecario Nazionale. Retrieved 24 January 2014 (in Italian).
  2. ^ a b Joel Kasow, "A Bel Canto Explosion" on culturekiosque.com, 20 August 1998. (Review of the Dynamic recording, plus others)
  3. ^ Recording information on metoperafamily.org

Online sources