Dorvil climbs a silken ladder every night to secretly join the beautiful Giulia in bed.
The couple resorts to subterfuge because their marriage is a secret and they live at the home of Dorvil’s tutor Dormont.
Gioachino Rossini premiered his comedic opera “La Scala di Seta” (“The Silken Ladder”) in 1812. Opera Southwest will stage it in the Albuquerque Museum Amphitheater on Sept. 10, 11 and 12.
The short opera is the third of five one-act works Rossini penned in his early years. Such farcical pieces were popular in Venice between the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th centuries.
“We’re doing them in order,” Opera Southwest artistic director Anthony Barrese said The company staged “La cambiale di matrimonio” (“The Bill of Marriage”) in 2019. Each piece features a pair of lovers, and is sung by from six to seven singers.
“You’ve probably heard the overture,” Barrese said of “La Scala di Seta.”
“It’s a mini-oboe concerto.”
Despite her secret marriage, Giulia’s protector has promised her to someone else.
“She’s trying to get out of it,” Barrese explained. “She proposes that he get with her cousin instead. He keeps coming up the ladder. It’s really a silly story.”
Opera Southwest has cultivated the music of Rossini across the last decade. No American company has staged more of his operas.
The six singers all are Opera Southwest apprentices accompanied by a small orchestra.
The cast features Robin Steitz as Giulia; David Walton as Dorvil; Sean Stanton as Germano and Lloyd Reshard, Jr. as Blansac. Laura Soto-Bayomi sings the role of Lucilla and Kevin Harvey is Dormont.
In October, Opera Southwest will perform Giuseppe Verdi’s “La Traviata,” rescheduled from its 2020 Covid-19 cancellation. Slated for the National Hispanic Cultural Center, the opera is scheduled for Oct. 24, 27, 29 and 31.