Tutti in maschera

Tutti in maschera (Everyone in Disguise) is an opera (called a commedia lirica) by Carlo Pedrotti. The libretto is by Marco Marcelliano Marcello, based on the 1759 comedy L'impresario delle Smirne by Carlo Goldoni. It was premiered at the Teatro Nuovo, Verona, on 4 November 1856.

Tutti in maschera
Opera by Carlo Pedrotti
Carlo Pedrotti by Antonio Bertulli circa 1882.JPG
The composer photographed in 1882
TranslationEveryone in Disguise
LibrettistMarco Marcelliano Marcello
Based onL'impresario delle Smirne
by Carlo Goldoni
4 November 1856 (1856-11-04)
Teatro Nuovo, Verona

Background and performance historyEdit

Tutti in maschera was the twelfth of Pedrotti's eighteen operas and the tenth to be staged (the first two were never performed). Five of the previous eleven were opere serie (serious operas) and five were opere semiserie (operas combining drama and comedy). Only one, the one-act Il parrucchiere della reggenza (The hairdresser of the Regency) of 1852 was designated as a comic opera.

After the premiere, Tutti in maschera was seen in Italy at the Teatro Regio di Parma in 1859, the Teatro Comunale di Bologna in 1860, the Teatro della Canobbiana in 1860 (with the famous baritone Antonio Cotogni as Abdalà) and the Teatro Comunale, Catania in 1871. It was also performed in Vienna (1865) and, in French as Les masques, at the Théâtre de l'Athénée on the rue Scribe in Paris in 1869.[1][2] Its success in Italy also saw it spread to countries where Italian singers and companies dominated; hence it was premiered in Calcutta in 1867, Australia in 1874 and New Zealand in 1875.[3] It was popular within Italy until the end of the nineteenth century, when it began to gradually fall out of favour and, until a recent co-production between theatres in Savona, Piacenza and Rovigo and Wexford Festival Opera in 2007-08, was last heard in Italy in 1932[4] or in 1935.[5]

In Britain, the John Lewis Partnership Music Society performed the opera, conducted by Derek Carden, at the Royal College of Music's Britten Theatre in London in 1991.


Role Voice type Premiere Cast, November 4, 1856
(Conductor: Carlo Pedrotti).[1]
Vittoria, a prima donna soprano Laura Ruggero Antonioli
Emilio, her lover tenor Giovanni Petrovich
Don Gregorio, a music-teacher bass Pietro Mattioli-Alessandrini
Dorotea, his wife, another prima donna mezzo-soprano Adele Ruggero
Martello, a poet bass Luigi Bisi
Abdalà, a rich merchant from Damascus baritone Davide Squarcia
Lisetta, Emilio's maid soprano Antonietta Scotti
actors, singers, masked-ballgoers


Place: Venice
Time: 1780

Act 1Edit

Scene 1: A cafe

Singers and actors complain about the previous evening's failure of Gregorio's most recent opera production. Emilio and Vittoria are attracted to each other, and he takes her handkerchief. Gregorio arrives and is subjected to ridicule, but he brings news of a rich Turk (Abdalà) who is interested in taking the company to the East and paying all their expenses. Naturally, everyone wants to be introduced to him.

Scene 2: Emilio's house

Dorotea finds that Emilio, her former lover, is not at home, and searches for the love-letters that she had sent to him. She hides when Vittoria is admitted. The latter is pleased to see the handkerchief that Emilio took, and when he arrives they declare their love. Gregorio is heard, and Vittoria also tries to hide - but she inadvertently picks Dorotea's hiding-place, and the discovery results in a slanging-match involving all four.

Act 2Edit

Scene 1: An ante-room in a hotel

The members of the troupe eagerly anticipate Abdalà's arrival, and, when he appears, they are eager to curry favour with him. He is attracted only to Vittoria, and when he proposes a private meeting, she accepts in order to annoy Emilio.

Scene 2: Abdalà's suite

Vittoria is worried that the invitation to a masked ball at La Fenice which Abdalà has sent her (with instructions specifying what she should wear) might compromise her. He assures her that his only wish is to engage her for his touring company. Suddenly, Dorotea and the rest of the troupe arrive, and Vittoria accidentally mislays the invitation, on which her name does not appear. Gregorio finds it and suspects that it was sent to Dorotea. Vittoria promises Abdalà that she will come to the ball if he does not say anything about the invitation. His response is to invite everyone to the ball, and he promises contracts to all.

Act 3Edit

The masked ball at La Fenice

Everyone is in disguise - Vittoria as a flower-seller, Dorotea in the costume that Abdalà specified for Vittoria, and both Gregorio and Emilio are dressed as Abdalà. After a lot of confusion, everything is sorted out and Abdalà distributes contracts to the whole troupe, but Vittoria and Emilio opt to stay in Venice to cement their relationship.[6]


Pedrotti: Tutti in maschera, Orchestra Sinfonica di Sanremo e Della Liguria

  • Conductor: Giovanni Di Stefano
  • Principal singers: Massimiliano Viapiano (Baritone), Anna Gemmabella (Mezzo Soprano), Domenico Colaianni (Baritone), Yolanda Auyanet (Soprano), David Sotgiu (Tenor), Paolo Bordogna (Baritone)
  • Coro del Teatro dell'Opera Giocosa
  • Release Date: 2009-01-08
  • Label: Bongiovanni
  • Catalog No: BGV 20011
  • Format: DVD-Video
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • UPC: 675754013264



  1. ^ a b Casaglia, Gherardo (2005). "Tutti in maschera". L'Almanacco di Gherardo Casaglia (in Italian).
  2. ^ Lecomte 1912, p. 100–101.
  3. ^ Esmeralda Rocha, Operatic Culture throughout the British Empire during the Victorian Era
  4. ^ Preview on Teatro Chiabrera, Savona, website (in Italian)
  5. ^ Review of the same production in Rovigo (in Italian)
  6. ^ The synopsis is based on the one in the 2008 Wexford Opera Festival programme.


  • Lecomte, Louis-Henry (1912). Histoire des théâtres de Paris: Les Fantaisies-Parisiennes, l'Athénée Le Théâtre Scribe, l'Athénée-Comique (1865-1911). Paris: H. Daragon. Copy at the Internet Archive.

External linksEdit