|Giuseppe Foppa after L'échelle de soie by François-Antoine-Eugène de Planard|
|9 May 1812, Venice (Teatro San Moisè)|
|La Scala di Seta Synopsis|
|La Scala di Seta Libretto|
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La scala di seta (The Silken Ladder or Die seidene Leiter) is an operatic farsa comica in one act by Gioachino Rossini to a libretto by Giuseppe Maria Foppa. It was first performed in Venice, Italy at the Teatro San Moisè on May 9, 1812. The overture has been frequently recorded and continues to feature in the modern concert repertoire.
From 1810 to 1813, the young Rossini composed four Italian farse, beginning with La cambiale di matrimonio (The Bill of Marriage), his first opera, and ending with Il Signor Bruschino. These types of short pieces were popular in Venice at the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century. The pieces were intimate, with a cast of five to seven singers, always including a pair of lovers, at least two comic parts, and one or two other minor roles. The style called for much visual comedy improvised by the players. As compared to many genres of opera, acting and comedic talent is more important relative to the required singing ability. Rossini's farces also have a significant sentimental element.
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