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Gioacchino Antonio Rossini

Rossini - La gazza ladra - Pesaro 1989

Fabrizio Roberto Coviello 
Lucia Luciana D'Intino 
Giannetto William Matteuzzi 
Ninetta Katia Ricciarelli 
Fernando Ferruccio Furlanetto 
Il Podestà Samuel Ramey 
Pippo Bernadette Manca di Nissa 
Isacco Oslavio Di Credico 
Antonio Pierre Lefebvre 
Giorgio Francesco Musinu 
Ernesto Marcello Lippi 
Il Pretore Enzo Capuano

Coro Filarmonico di Praga

Maestro del Coro Lubomír Mátl

Orchestra Sinfonica della RAI di Torino

La gazza ladra (The Thieving Magpie) is a melodramma or opera semiseria in two acts by Gioachino Rossini, with a libretto by Giovanni Gherardini based on La pie voleuse by Théodore Baudouin d'Aubigny and Louis-Charles Caigniez.

The composer Giaochino Rossini wrote quickly, and La gazza ladra was no exception. According to legend, before the first performance of the opera, the producer assured the composition of the overture by locking Rossini in a room, from the window of which the composer threw out the sheets of music to the copyists who then wrote the orchestral parts, to complete the composition of the opera. As such, The Thieving Magpie is best known for the overture, which is musically notable for its use of snare drums. The unique inspiration in the melodies is extreme, famously used to bizarre and dramatic effect in Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange. It was referenced by Haruki Murakami in his work The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. This memorable section in Rossini's overture evokes the image of the opera's main subject: a devilishly clever, thieving magpie.



(The Thieving Magpie)

Opera in two acts by Gioachino Rossini,
with a libretto by Giovanni Gherardini based on La pie voleuse
by Théodore Baudouin d'Aubigny and Louis-Charles Caigniez.


Ninetta, Fabrizio’s servant
Fabrizio Vingradito, a rich farmer
Lucia, his wife
Giannetto, his son, a soldier
Fernando Villabella, Ninetta’s father, a soldier
Gottardo the Podestà, village mayor
Pippo, a young peasant, employed by Fabrizio
Giorgio, servant to the mayor
Isacco, a pedlar 
Antonio, the gaoler 
Ernesto, a soldier, friend of Fernando

Time:  XVIII — XIX th

Premiere Cast, 31 May 1817



At the house of Fabrizio Vingradito and his wife Lucia there is joy for the imminent return of their son Giannetto from the war. One of the servants, Ninetta, is in love with Giannetto and all want the two to marry, except Lucia, who blames Ninetta for the recent loss of a silver fork. Isacco, a local pedlar, visits and asks about Ninetta, but Pippo, Fabrizio's manservant, sends him away. Giannetto arrives and goes inside with Lucia while Ninetta prepares for the party. Once they have gone, Ninetta’s father, Fernando Villabella, arrives, also from the war. However, he was sentenced to death after fighting with his captain and is now a deserter. He asks his daughter to sell two pieces of family silver to go towards his expenses while he is on the run. The Mayor arrives with intent on seducing Ninetta, and she claims that her father is just some vagrant. The Mayor’s assistant delivers the arrest warrant for a deserter (Fernando), but as the Mayor has forgotten his reading glasses, Ninetta is asked to read the warrant, and makes up a description of someone totally unlike her father. The Mayor continues to force his attentions on Ninetta, at which Fernando almost reveals himself in anger. The three leave, and a magpie flies down and steals one of Lucia’s silver spoons.

Isacco passes by again, and Ninetta sells him the silver her father had entrusted to her. Giannetto and others return, and Lucia notices that a spoon is missing. The Mayor starts an immediate investigation, stating the draconian penalty for domestic theft: death. Lucia and the Mayor accuse Ninetta, who in her distress drops the money she had exchanged from Isacco. The pedlar is brought back and reports that he has already sold on the spoon, but he recalls the inscription "F.V.", initials shared by Fabrizio and Fernando. The stunned Ninetta, desperate to protect her father, is unable to refute the accusations, and the Mayor orders her arrest.

Rossini - La gazza ladra - 2017 - Part  1
Conductor - Riccardo Chailly
Director - Gabriele Salvatores

Ninetta: Rosa Feola
Pippo: Serena Malfi
Lucia: Teresa Iervolino
Fabrizio Vingradito: Paolo Bordogna
Giannetto: Edgardo Rocha
Fernando Villabella: Alex Esposito
Gottardo: Michele Pertusi
Ernesto: Giovanni Romeo
Giorgio: Claudio Levantino
Antonio: Matteo Mezzaro
Isacco: Matteo Macchioni
Una gazza: Francesca Alberti


Antonio, the prison warder, takes pity on Ninetta and says that he will get a message to Pippo and let Giannetto visit her. Ninetta convinces Giannetto that she is innocent. The Mayor now arrives and tells Ninetta that if she accepts his advances he will get her freed – she replies that she would rather die. The Mayor is called away, but Antonio has heard all and offers to help Ninetta any way he can. Ninetta asks Pippo to sell a gold cross and put some money for her father in an agreed hiding place – a chestnut tree. Ninetta is brought to trial, found guilty, and condemned to death. Fernando rushes to the court to save his daughter’s life, but is too late; he too is sent to prison.

Ernesto, a military friend of Fernando, bursts in looking for the Mayor and holding a royal pardon for Ninetta’s father. Pippo shows him the way and is given a silver coin for helping, but the magpie snatches it and flies up to the tower. Pippo and Antonio pursue the thief.

Ninetta is taken to the scaffold and makes her final speech to the crowd. From the tower, Pippo and Antonio cry out that they have found Lucia’s silver in the magpie’s nest and they ring the bells. The crowd hear their words and hope to save Ninetta, but shots ring out and they conclude that they are too late. However, Ninetta appears walking down the hill – the shots were mere rejoicing. Ninetta celebrates with her companions but is worried about her father. He then appears with Ernesto and all – except the Mayor – enjoy a happy ending.

Rossini - La gazza ladra -  2017 - Part II

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