Il mondo della luna (The World on the Moon), Hob. 28/7, is an opera buffa by Joseph Haydn with a libretto written by Carlo Goldoni in 1750, first performed at Eszterháza, Hungary, on 3 August 1777. Goldoni’s libretto had previously been set by six other composers, first by the composer Baldassare Galuppi and performed in Venice in the carnival of 1750. It was then adapted for Haydn’s version of the opera, which would be performed during the wedding celebrations of Count Nikolaus Esterházy, the younger son of Haydn’s patron, Prince Nikolaus Esterházy, and the Countess Maria Anna Wissenwolf. It is sometimes performed as a singspiel under its German title Die Welt auf dem Monde. —from Wikipedia
Il mondo della luna comprises a buffa farce in which the old fool and amateur astronomer Buonafede, who opposes the marriages of his daughters and his maid to their respective boyfriends, is tricked by one of the boyfriends, Ecclitico, into thinking that there is life on the moon. After drinking a “magic” potion, Buonafede passes out, and then wakes up believing he has been transported to the moon (in reality, Ecclitico’s garden). Buonafede is welcomed by the moon emperor and his retinue (the boyfriends). His daughters and his maid are subsequently “transported” to the moon, where they contrive to marry the disguised boyfriends in a lunar ceremony. Buonafede finally uncovers the hoax, but it is too late. He resigns himself to the outcome, pays the dowries and forgives everyone. —from Alexander Carpenter’s Project Muse review of the DVD production of Il mondo della luna by Concentus Musicus Wien, conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt.
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