La Cantante smorfiosa (The Carping Diva)
Editor: Edited by Barbara Sachs
Cantata for soprano and continuo
In this satirical mini-drama a ‘carping’, hard to please, querulous, contentious, stuck-up soprano, who really has caught a bad cold, reluctantly agrees to try to sing a cantata put before her by the author-composer she sarcastically refers to as ‘Il signor Tiridate’ (the incipit of La Cantante smorfiosa). ‘Smorfia’ means a grimace or smirk, but the adjective, if not endearing, is applied to girls putting on airs. The author's irony and the singer's jabs about the quality of his work reveal the capacities of both, in what is actually a very well-written and challenging piece.