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Lo Speziale – A comic opera at Teatru Manoel

Lo Speziale, an 18th century opera buffa by Joseph Haydn, will be performed at Teatru Manoel this weekend. Haydn composed this opera for Prince Nicholas Esterhazy for the prince’s Court Theatre at Esterhaza Castle.

Performed by Lautten Compagney Berlin, the comic opera will be performed in Italian and German, with Maltese and English subtitles, under the direction of Wolfgang Katschner. The orchestra is a regular guest at prestigious national and international concerts and festivals, including The Valletta Baroque Festival.

Lo Speziale, which translates to The Apothecary in English, follows the twists and turns of a love triangle between Mengone, the poor apprentice, Volpino, the wealthy aristocrat, and Grilletta, the local apothecary’s ward. Grilletta and Mengone are in love, but Mengone is in constant fear of his master, Sempronio, the local apothecary who plans on marrying Grilletta. While Sempronio reads the newspaper and follows world affairs, Mengone has to do all the work in the apothecary, even though he does not know anything about chemistry.

The opera is the result of a co-production between three theatres, which saw its premier in summer 2019 at the Private Theatre of Kochberg Palace in Germany. It will also be performed at the Putbus Theatre in 2020 on the island of Rügen, Germany, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of this theatre.

This year, it will be performed at Teatru Manoel on the 5th and 6th October at 7pm. Tickets may be bought from www.teatrumanoel.com.mt or by calling 21246389.

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