traduite de La serva padrona, intermede italien. (Statement Of Responsibility). U.S. RISM Libretto Project. Legal notice–title page; price on title page: 24 sols. La serva padrona (The Servant Turned Mistress) is an opera buffa by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi ( – ) to a libretto by Gennaro Antonio Federico, after. La serva padrona, intermezzo in two parts. Music composed by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi. Libretto by Gennar’antonio Frederico.

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This is just a quick and dirty English translation of the libretto. There are probably mistakes — please correct them! But it’s stupid oadrona a free English version of the text isn’t readily available, given how much this work comes up in music history textbooks, and how old it is.

I threw it together based on Italian and Spanish versions that are available online, with occasional reference to the English lobretto on a youtube film version when I got stuck. Uberto Waiting for something that never arrives, lying in bed and not sleeping, doing good deeds without a thank-you, These three things are like death! This is a disgrace for me! I’ve been waiting for three hours for my servant to bring me the chocolate, with no relief!

La Serva Padrona – Wikisource, the free online library

And I’m in a sefva to go out. Now indeed, I see That being nice to this woman, is the cause of all my troubles. To Vespone And what are you waiting for? Sitting here quiet as a puppet? I’ll break your neck for you. See what she’s doing.

La serva padrona (Pergolesi, Giovanni Battista)

I took care of this little maidservant since she was a child. I caressed her, I embraced her, like she was my daughter! And because of this, now she has so much arrogance, she leads such a charmed life, that you’d think the servant will become the master!

So I have to decide that enough is enough. And this other babboon I suppose he’s dead now! Serpina Are you quite done? Do you have to shout at me? Look, I already told you, I’m not happy. Serpina To Vespone Again!

Oh, you really are trying my patience. If you want a pair of slaps, I’ll give them to you!


Serpina What, because I pacrona a servant, I have to be trodden on, I have to be abused? I want to be respected, I want to be revered, like I was mistress, arch-mistress, mega-mistress! I didn’t make it yet! Why don’t you do it for me, my beautiful Patron Uberto Vespone, since I’ve apparently had my chocolate, wish me good health and bon appetit! But I will not be the beast! I will not have more patience!

I’ll shake the yoke! And what I have not done yet, at last I will do! To Serpina I’m always at odds with you! And here and there, And up and down, And yes and no! Now this is enough, it has to stop. Serpina But you must have some little remorse for doing to me, and saying to me, the things you do and say. Serpina I don’t want you sfrva go out now. It’s noon — where do you want to go? Serpina Angry little man, my angry little man!

You make a big fuss, But that won’t do any good. You have my decree Shut up, and do not talk. Serpina wills it so. Now put everything back in its place, your lordship!

My boss doesn’t want me to go out. Vespone wants to leave and then stops You stop? You wonder what it means? Uberto Yes, stop, Look at me, be surprised! Laugh at me, call me an ass, Give me a slap! I’ll keep quiet about it, and afterwards kiss your hand. Uberto kisses the hand of Vespone.

Uberto Stand aside, evil! In any case, this has to stop. Vespone, at this point, find me a wife. Even if she’s a harpy, in spite of that, I want to marry. That way I won’t have to remain subject to this wicked creature! You can do and say what you like — Nothing alters the fact that you’ll have to marry me. Serpina I know those little eyes! I see that although so say no, you really mean yes! Uberto Miss, you are deceived.

You’re flying too high. My eyes and I both say no. Am I not beautiful, graceful and witty? What playfulness, what brio, what majesty! Serpina Now that I’ve got you on my side, Vespone, give it everything you’ve got. If the trick should work, If the boss and I come to be married, whatever you want, you’ll have it.


La serva padrona – Wikipedia

At home you will be the second master, I promise you. Uberto I hope that my servant — or now, better to say, my mistress — will grant me permission to leave the house. Uberto Now indeed your impertinence has come to the summit. And she dared to ask me to marry her! Uberto Here she is now. Let’s get this over with.

Can I or can not I? oa

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Will you, or will you not, my lovely mistress —? Serpina Ah, Sir, I’m done with this game. And you won’t have to put up with me for very much longer. Uberto If you are this troublesome as a servant, just think, what you’ll be like as a wife! Without doubt, Captain Tempest will become angry, and then there will be a tempest of blows for you!.

lq Meanwhile, take care of yourself Enjoy your beloved wife, And don’t entirely forget Serpina. Uberto Now let’s guess who this man will be! Perhaps this penance will make her reconsider the way she treated her master. If it’s true, what she told me, such a husband will be a terror to her: And besides, I was thinking Well then, would you marry her? Oh no, no, never. Get out of here. Still, I brought her up, from when she was born Eh! Softly, for heaven’s sake!

I have a fondness for her, And yet, that wretched girl I’m back where I started. I am all mixed up. I have something in my heart, And I don’t know if it’s love or if it’s pity. I hear a voice telling me: Miserable, unlucky, what will padgona of me! He wants a trifle. Vespone puts his hand to his sword. Serpina Well, I’ve promised and I haven’t promised. Serpina That, either you give me the dowry of four thousand escudos, or he padtona not pibretto me.