La buona figliuola (The Good-Natured Girl or The Accomplish'd Maid), or La Cecchina (The girl from Cecchina),[1] is an opera buffa in three acts by Niccolò Piccinni. The libretto, by Carlo Goldoni, is based on Samuel Richardson's novel Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded. This was Piccinni's most successful Italian opera. There was a sequel entitled La buona figliuola maritata (1761) by the same composer and librettist. La buona figliuola supposta vedova by Gaetano Latilla followed in 1766.

La buona figliuola
Opera buffa by Niccolò Piccinni
Antonia Zamperini in the title role, Cecchina, 1769
TranslationThe Good-Natured Girl
LibrettistCarlo Goldoni
6 February 1760 (1760-02-06)

Performance history


It was first performed at the Teatro delle Dame, Rome, on 6 February 1760 with an all-male cast. It was given in London at the King's Theatre on 25 November 1766 with Gaetano Guadagni, Savi, Lovattini, Morigi, Quercioli, Piatti, and Michele; and at Covent Garden in English as The Accomplish'd Maid on 3 December 1766. It was revived as La Cecchina (with alterations) on 7 February 1928 in Bari (the composer's native city), as part of a celebration of the bicentenary of Piccinni's birth.[2]

This opera is said to have been performed by Jesuits in China in 1778, namely at the court of the Qianlong Emperor.[3]


Roles, voice types, premiere cast
Role Voice type Premiere cast, 6 February 1760
Cecchina, a maid soprano castrato travesti Tommaso Borghesi
Armidoro, engaged to Lucinda soprano castrato Carlo De Cristofori
The marquis of Conchiglia, in love with Cecchina tenor Giovanni Lovatini
Lucinda, the marquis' sister soprano castrato travesti Gaspero Savoj
Mengotto, a poor man in love with Cecchina baritone Giuseppe Casaccia
Paoluccia, a maid mezzo-soprano castrato travesti Francesco Pieri
Sandrina, a maid soprano castrato travesti Giuseppe Giustinelli
Tagliaferro, a German soldier baritone Francesco Carattoli



The marquis of Conchiglia has fallen in love with Cecchina, who is a maid. Shocked by the social impropriety of such a match, Cavaliere Armidoro, the fiancé of the marquis's sister, refuses to marry Lucinda. Distraught over losing the man she loves, Lucinda begs the marquis to stop seeing Cecchina. Meanwhile, Cecchina has several problems of her own, including Mengotto, a poor man who is infatuated with her and won't leave her alone, and Sandrina and Paoluccia, two jealous maids who try to cause as much trouble for Cecchina as they can. After many plot twists, the opera ends well when Tagliaferro, a German soldier, reveals that Cecchina is in fact the daughter of a German baron, which enables Cecchina to marry the Marchese without upsetting Armidoro.



Piccinni: La Cecchina, ossia La buona figliuola – Orchestra Serenissima Pro Arte

  • Conductor: Bruno Campanella
  • Principal singers: Alessandra Ruffini, Bruno Pratico, Maria Angeles Peters, Gabriella Morigi, Giuseppe Morino
  • Recording date: 8 January 2002
  • Label: Nuova Era 7123/25 (3 cd)

Piccinni: La buona figliola – Orchestra del Teatro dell'Opera di Roma

Piccinni: La Cecchina, ossia La buona figliuola – La Lyra di Anfione

  • Conductor: Vito Paternoster
  • Principal singers: Serena Farnocchia, Graziella Merrino, Danilo Formaggia, Eun Young Oh, Larissa Schmidt, Eugenia Pont-Burgoyne, Piero Terranova, Davude Pelissero
  • Recording date: 25 September 2001
  • Label: Bongiovanni GB 2293/94-2 (2 cd)




  1. ^ Hunter 1992 and 2001. A variety of other titles have been used, including La Cecchina, ossia La buona figliuola; Cecchina zitella, o La buona figliuola; Cecchina nubile o La buona figliuola; La buona figliuola zitella; La buona figliuola puta; La baronessa riconosciuta; Das gute Mädchen; Der fromme Pige; La bonne fille. "Figliuola" is sometimes rendered as its modern Italian variant "figliola".
  2. ^ Loewenberg 1978, columns 243–245.
  3. ^ Ginguené 1809, pp. 10–11.


  • Casaglia, Gherardo (2005). "La buona figliola, 6 February 1760". L'Almanacco di Gherardo Casaglia (in Italian).
  • Ginguené, Pierre-Louis (1809). Notice sur la vie et les ouvrages de Nicolas Piccini (in French). Paris: Panckoucke.
  • Hunter, Mary (1992). "Buona figliuola, La" in Sadie 1992, vol. 1, pp. 640–642.
  • Hunter, Mary (2001). "Piccinni: (1) Niccolò Piccinni. Works" (with James L. Jackman, Marita P. McClymonds, David Charlton) in Sadie 2001.
  • Loewenberg, Alfred (1978). Annals of Opera 1597–1940 (third edition, revised). Totowa, New Jersey: Rowman and Littlefield. ISBN 978-0-87471-851-5.
  • Rushton, Julian (2001). "Niccolò Piccinni", pp. 673–676, in The New Penguin Opera Guide, edited by Amanda Holden. New York: Penguin Putnam. ISBN 0-14-029312-4.
  • Sadie, Stanley, editor (1992). The New Grove Dictionary of Opera (4 volumes). London: Macmillan. ISBN 978-1-56159-228-9.
  • Sadie, Stanley, editor (2001). The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd edition. London: Macmillan. ISBN 978-1-56159-239-5 (hardcover), OCLC 419285866 (eBook), and Grove Music Online.
  • Warrack, John; West, Ewan (1992). The Oxford Dictionary of Opera New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-869164-5.