Una cosa rara

Una cosa rara, ossia Bellezza ed onestà (A Rare Thing, or Beauty and Honesty) is an opera by the composer Vicente Martín y Soler. It takes the form of a dramma giocoso in two acts. The libretto, by Lorenzo Da Ponte, is based on the play La luna de la sierra by Luis Vélez de Guevara. The opera was first performed at the Burgtheater, Vienna, on 17 November 1786. It was a huge success and was shown 78 times. Mozart quotes a melody from this opera, "O quanto un sì bel giubilo", in the orchestral accompaniment to the trio "Già la mensa è preparata" [pl] of the finale of Don Giovanni.[1]

Una cosa rara
Opera by Vicente Martín y Soler
Portrait vicente martin soler.jpg
Vicente Martín y Soler
LibrettistLorenzo Da Ponte
17 November 1786 (1786-11-17)
Burgtheater, Vienna


Roles, voice types, premiere cast
Role Voice type Premiere cast
17 November 1786
Isabella, Queen of Spain soprano Luisa Laschi-Mombelli
Prince Don Giovanni, Isabella's son tenor Vincenzo Calvesi
Corrado, squire tenor Michael Kelly
Lilla, a peasant soprano Nancy Storace
Ghita, a peasant soprano Dorotea Sardi-Bassani
Tita, betrothed to Ghita bass Francesco Benucci
Lubino, betrothed to Lilla baritone Stefano Mandini
Lisargo, village mayor bass Johann Hoffmann
Chorus of hunters, shepherds and shepherdesses


The town mayor and the Spanish prince Don Giovanni try to seduce the virtuous Lilla, who is engaged to Lubino. The queen finds out and resolves the state of affairs so Lilla is able to marry her beloved.


  1. ^ For a detailed discussion of this borrowing, see Daniel E. Freeman, Mozart in Prague (Minneapolis: Bearclaw, 2013), 222–224.


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