“Segreto” No Longer A Segreto


Discovering “hidden gems” is what all lovers of music and books and movies crave, so finding one among late-18th-century opera last night was for me a confirmation of why I sit in the theater so often and put up with mediocre fare. The occasion was a performance at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) of Cimarosa’s opera “Il Matrimonio Segrego,” in a production directed by Jonathan Miller. Composed in 1792, the work has an opera buffa plot involving a family in Bologna: a younger sister has transgressed by marrying, secretly, before her older sister. This opera was a big hit in Vienna at its premiere, but is rarely performed in the United States. Cimarosa is now a footnote to Mozart, whose work his resembles, but there was enough delight in “Matrimonio” to make me forget Wolfgang Amadeus most of the time. There are further performances at BAM (www.bam.org), and recordings available at Amazon; click here to hear excerpts from one of those CDs.

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