Viva la mamma

Gaetano Donizetti

2h 35
Spanish , English

An opera where the prima donna is a baritone? Le convenienze ed inconvenienze teatrali is an excessively long and daunting title for an opera of such unrestrained delight. That is likely what German film director Helmut Käutner thought when he renamed it Viva la mamma in the famous 1969 adaptation for the rococo Cuvilliés theatre in Munich, changing the history of this work forever. First seen in Naples in 1827, this farce of a “theatre within a theatre” narrates the mishaps of a second-rate opera company as it stages the great serious drama Romolo ed Ersilia in a provincial theatre. The unbearable tensions between the two lead singers are finally resolved with the decisive intervention of one of their mothers. The co-production by Ópera de Lyon shared with the Grand Theâtre de Genève and Teatro Real is brought to life by Laurent Pelly, a tireless champion of Donizettis comedies, as one recalls from his production of La fille du régiment which we enjoyed some seasons ago.


*Title only available in Spain

Dramma giocoso in two acts

Music by Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848)

Libretto by Domenico Gilardoni, based on the works Le convenienze teatrali (1794) and Le inconvenienze teatrali (1800) by Antonio Simeone Sografi

Premiered at the Teatro Nuovo of Naples on the 21st of November, 1827, and in the composer's revised version at the Teatro alla Cannobiana of Milan on the 20th of April, 1831

Premiere at the Teatro Real

Production of the Teatro Real, in co-production with the Opéra National de Lyon and the Grand Théâtre de Genève

Titular Chorus and Orchestra of the Teatro Real


Artistic team

Conductor | Evelino Pidò 

Stage Director and Costume Designer | Laurent Pelly

Set Designer | Chantal Thomas

Light Designer | Joël Adam

Chorus Master | Andrés Máspero



Daria, prima donna | Nino Machaidze 

Procolo, Daria's husband | Borja Quiza

Biscroma Stappaviscere, conductor | Pietro di Bianco

Agata, the mother | Carlos Álvarez 

Luigia, seconda donna | Sylvia Schwartz

Guglielmo, primo tenore | Xabier Anduaga 

Pippetto | Carol García

Cesare Salsapariglia, the poet I Enric Martínez-Castignani

Impresario I David Oller

Director of the theatre | Luis López Navarro


Teatro Real (Spain)
Gaetano Donizetti
Daniel Oren, David Alden

Celebrating Semana de la Ópera (Opera Week), the Teatro Real broadcasted Lucia di Lammermoor live.


Daniel Oren, in the musical direction, and David Alden, in the stage direction, will transport us to the cold and humid Scotland together with a cast that includes Lisette Oropesa, Venera Gimadieva, Javier Camarena, Ismael Jordi and Roberto Tagliavini, among others .


A true paradigm of romantic Italian opera, Lucia di Lammermoor, the most accomplished and famous of Gaetano Donizetti's extensive list of lyrical dramas, aroused admiration from the beginning for making singing a vehicle to move, and not a mere succession of fireworks vowels. The work opened the doors of Paris to the Bergamasco, and it was the only one that was lit up that remained in the repertoire before the Donizetti Renaissance that, from the 1950s on, would definitively consecrate the composer.


The plot revolves around a young woman in love who falls into the deepest despair when she is accused by her lover of treason for having married another man against her will. What the lover does not know is that the nuptials were celebrated under a false presumption of infidelity. The pain that floods the young woman overwhelms her to the point of making her go crazy, giving rise to one of the most famous scenes in the history of opera, both for its musical genius and for the level of psychological introspection it reveals. The inescapable tragic denouement initiates a work that, without a hint of doubt, today maintains its capacity to move intact.

Donizetti Opera festival
Gaetano Donizetti
Riccardo Frizza, Maria Pilar Pérez Aspa

Kenilworth Castle was performed at the San Carlo in Naples on 6th July 1829. Tottola’s libretto referred to a novel by Walter Scott, Kenilworth (1821), through a variety of mediations that somehow created distance between the libretto and its source: the first was Leicester or Le Château  de Kenilworth by Scribe and Auber (1823), the second was a comedy by Gaetano Barbieri (1824) from which Tottola also drew the Italian title of his libretto. These two versions gave Tottola his happy ending, with Queen Elisabeth I pardoning her beloved Leicester after he had secretly married the young Amy Robsart (in Scott’s novel, Amy died at the evil hand of Varney).


Kenilworth Castle, the first opera with two counter-posed female roles, marked the beginning of the “English-themed operas” and, after Anne Boleyn, the so-called “Elisabethan” ones: Mary Stuart and Robert Devereux. These anticipatory traits highlight the role that Kenilworth Castle played in bringing the Teatro Donizettiano from classic drama to romantic drama and the definitive  end of the Rossini model which can still however be perceived today. Riccardo Frizza, musical director of the Donizetti Opera Festival, will lead a stellar international cast and the audience on a journey to discover this “legendary” opera by the Bergamo-born composer.


With the collaboration of Naxos

Teatro Real (Spain)
Gaetano Donizetti
Bruno Campanella, Alessandro Talevi

With a libretto loosely based on the relationship between the Earl of Essex and Queen Elizabeth I of England, Donizetti created a work full of virtuoso arias, softening the historical events with bel canto and coloratura. First performed at the Teatro San Carlo, Naples, on 29 October 1837, it reflects the desolation of the composer, who had lost his parents, his two children and his wife Virginia.


Salvatore Cammarano based his text, as in Lucia di Lammermoor, on the drama of a doomed relationship between Queen Elisabetta (Elizabeth I of England) and Roberto, Earl of Essex, who is in love with Sara, the wife of his friend the Duke of Nottingham. Donizetti refined his tendency to concentrate emotional climaxes and action in a limited space: the tragedy of two ill-fated couples is continually sustained by the music.


Teatro Real (Spain)
Gaetano Donizetti
Evelino Pidò, Laurent Pelly

Our favorite musicologist reels for us the details and context of Viva la mamma.