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La Bisbetica (2010)

Opera lirica in two acts based on The Taming of the Shrew by W. Shakespeare

Music by Efraín Amaya
Libretto by Karen Saillant
Translation Tommaso Sabbatini



Caterina (Kate) - Lyric Mezzo-soprano
Pretuccio - Lyric Baritone
Bianca - Light Lyric Soprano
Lucenzio - Lyric Tenor
Battista - Lyric Low Bass
Tranio, Grumio, Drumio, Tailor, Officer - Baritone Buffo
Vincenzo - Bass (could be also sung by Battista)
Merchant - Tenor (could be also sung by Lucenzio)
If the three cellists are on stage, they should be two men and a woman
Riverso - One of the male cellists
Lute Tutor - The other male cellist

Act I

There is a great turmoil at the Minola's house. The beautiful Bianca wants so much to get married but her father, Battista, has decided that she can't marry until her older sister, Caterina the shrew, does. Lucenzio is a rich nobleman from Pisa who falls in love with Bianca at first sight and understands that he can't court her until Caterina finds a husband. However he decides to woo her anyway under her father's nose, masquerading himself as a tutor. Petruccio, a rich nobleman from Verona, arrives to Padova and hears from his servant Grumio that Caterina Minola has a generous dowry. He then decides to woo her despite her wild behavior. The act ends with the wedding of Petruccio and his shrew.

Scene I

On the street behind the Minola's home garden. Caterina is tormenting her younger sister Bianca. Battista states that he can't allow Bianca to get married before the belligerent Caterina does. However, as a consolation he offers to hire private tutors for them. Meanwhile Lucenzio, a rich noble from Pisa is arriving in Padova accompanied by his servant Tranio. He sees Bianca from afar and falls madly in love with her as Bianca laments her fate (duet: Bacio, Bocca, Brecia, Bruccio). Tranio reminds Lucenzio that if he wants to marry her, he should woo her. Together they come up with a plan. Lucenzio will pretend to be a tutor named Cambio while Tranio will pretend to be Lucenzio to avoid any suspicion from Lucenzio's father. Petruccio, a rich nobleman from Verona, arrives to Padova. He confides to his servant Grumio his plan of finding a rich wife. Grumio tells him of a noblewoman who is very rich, however she is an unbearable shrew. Petruccio assures him that that is not important and what matters is her dowry (aria: La dotte giusta fa la moglie giusta!).

Scene II

Petruccio introduces himself to Battista Minola and asks for Caterina's hand. Battista can't believe that anyone would want to marry Caterina and tells him all the reasons why she would be a terrible wife (aria: Ź tutta una furia). Petruccio starts to recall his past deeds to Battista to assure him that he wouldn't fail at taming her heart. Lucenzio, dressed up as the tutor Cambio, wishing Caterina to be married hears Petruccio and decides to help him convince Battista. (quartet: Ho affrontato leoni che ruggiavano). He introduces himself as Cambio and tells Petruccio to present him as a tutor for Bianca. Petruccio introduces Cambio as a tutor to Battista while Tranio, dressed up in Lucenzio's clothes, offers a dowry for Bianca's hand. He also brings in two tutors at their disposal, Riverso and a lute tutor (who also falls in love with Bianca, unbeknownst to Tranio). Battista takes the new tutors to their new pupils. From Caterina's room the lute tutor comes out running with the lute on his head. Petruccio discovers that he wants Caterina even more. They finally meet (duet: Buongiorno pasticcina). Petruccio tells her about their future marriage, which just makes her angry, refusing all his advances. Battista returns to see how things are going for Petruccio with his daughter, he lies saying that they are going great despite the whining from Caterina and that they would get married this Sunday. Tranio (dressed up as Lucenzio) asks for Biaca's hand. He tells Battista about his father Vincenzo and promises to double the riches from any other suitor. Battista is convinced but must meet his father, Vincenzo. Lucenzio wonders where he's going to find someone to play the role of his master's father to insure Battista of the dowry.

Scene III

In Bianca's studio. Riverso and Cambio (Lucenzio) are competing for Bianca's affection. Bianca prefers Cambio (Lucenzio) and the two of them talk about their love while avoiding to raise suspicions from Riverso. Cambio (Lucenzio) tells Bianca his true identity and his intentions of marring her while they pretend to be having a Latin lesson. Tranio arrives telling his master that he hasn't been able to find anyone to impersonate his father Vincenzo. They decide to elope to carry their plans of marring each other.

Scene IV

At the church on the wedding day. Caterina's wedding is on its way but there is no sign of Petruccio. He arrives late and dressed very inappropriately. After things settled down and the wedding is over, Petruccio insists that Caterina leaves immediately with him without going to their banquet, to the reproaches of all the Minola family members. Petruccio takes Caterina with great difficulty while all voice their opinions.


Act II

In order to tame his wife, Petruccio has decided to "tame her with sweetness". She's chained to a radiator (or giant cupcake) and Petruccio force feeds her only sweets, cakes and other goodies. Petruccio insists that he does it on the name of his love for her. At the end Caterina becomes a “sweet” wife. Meanwhile, Lucenzio secretly marries Bianca, but things get out of control as his father shows up at his front door, creating a scene with the impostor Vincenzo. Lucenzio tries to reconcile the two families and at the end, Bianca succeeds in convincing Battista of accepting him as a son. Petruccio and Caterina become a happy couple and everyone is merry.

Scene I

Inside Petruccio's home. Caterina is chained to a heat radiator (or to a giant cupcake) for six days and six nights, while Petruccio has made her eat only sweets. Disgusted and unhappy she sings of her predicament (aria: Incatenata a questo radiatore!) and in doing so she admits that she loves Petruccio. He declares his resolution to tame Caterina through "sweetness" as he realizes his love for her, quickly pushing this thought away (aria: la mela acerba Ź aspra). Petruccio continues to torment Caterina at their house and commands his servant, Drumio, to cover her with powder sugar (march: Marzapan! pan! pan! pan! pan!). Petruccio announces that it is almost time to go to Battista's house for Bianca's wedding. He calls the tailor in to have him show the dress and hat that he has ordered for her. Caterina loves them but Petruccio insists that they are no good because they are made for a gentlewoman and Caterina is not gentle. Thus Petruccio orders that they go dressed as they are.

Scene II

On the road. During the trip, Petruccio continues to torment Caterina and tests her by stating absurd facts and forcing her to agree with him (trio: Come splende la luna in cielo). At first, Caterina does not comply, which frustrates Petruccio. Tired and delirious Caterina starts to surrender. A little further, they ran into Vincenzo, father of Lucenzio. Caterina pretends to have surrendered to Petruccio's whims as she agrees with him right away when he says that Vincenzo is not an old man but a beautiful young woman. After they discover that he is Vincenzo they all set off to the wedding.

Scene III

In front of Lucenzio's house. They all arrive to Lucenzio's house. Vincenzo knocks on the door to find a merchant dressed with his cloths impersonating him, making him very upset. The scene becomes very chaotic (sextet: ladro, bandito, mi ha rubato il nome) until the real Lucenzio arrives and explains everything. At the end of the scene Caterina and Petruccio are left alone and share a tender moment. Petruccio finally releases her from her binds after they kiss.

Scene IV

At Battista's house. Bianca enters with Lucenzio who declares his love for her (aria: L'amore ha compiuto prodigi). Now that they're married, Lucenzio wants to announce it to her father but Battista suddenly arrives dismissing him. Bianca explains and begs of him to accept Lucenzio (aria: Padre caro, qui avete un nuovo figlio). Battista is moved by her love and finally accepts their union. All arrive and Petruccio wanting to prove how his Caterina is not a shrew anymore proposes to make a bet to see which of the wives would obey when summoned by their husbands. All are stunned to see Caterina is the one to come while Bianca sends word that she is "busy".

Scene V

Caterina brings Bianca who becomes angry at Lucenzio to find out that she was part of a bet. Lucenzio is also upset that he just lost a hundred coroni. Caterina looks for ways to calm them by telling them the qualities of a perfect wife. Slowly the tension between the newly weds disperses with Caterina's efforts and support for the others (septet: Su, su, su, ragazze). Petruccio is very happy he has won the wager and is ready to turn in suggesting that everyone goes to bed. The ensemble marches off to bed happily singing in chorus (march: Marzapan! pan! pan! pan! pan!).


  • "La Bisbetica" - Opera buffa in two acts - 2010   Durata ca: 1:35:00

    Parts Music Rental only
    Full score $140.00 / Vocal score $40.00


    Aria "Incatenata" from Act II

    Duo "Buongiorno, Pasticcina" from Act I
  • La Bisbetica Scores



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