Major Operas | La buona figliuola by Niccolò Piccinni | Classical Era

The Good-Natured Girl

Composed: 1760
Premiered: 1760, Rome
Libretto by Carlo Goldoni, after Samuel Richardson’s novel Pamela

Act I

Cecchina, a servant girl, is secretly in love with the Marchese della Conchiglia. Believing that her dream will never come true, she runs away when he confesses his own affections for her. He asks one of the maids, Sandrina, to assure Cecchina of his intentions, but she also once had hopes of the Marchese and is now jealous that the servant Mengotto also loves Cecchina. Sandrina warns the Cavaliere Armidoro, who is engaged to the Marchese’s sister Lucinda, that the Marchese is to marry a common gardener with no known parents, and a foreigner. To prevent this spoiling her own coming marriage, Lucinda arranges for Cecchina to leave the household. The Marchese discovers her in tears and declares his love. Mengotto offers Cecchina his love again, but the Marchese surprises them together and rejects Cecchina.

Act II

The Marchese regrets his jealousy, but by now Cecchina has been arrested on Armidoro’s orders. Mengotto rescues her from the armed escort, but the Marchese arrives and takes her away, leaving Mengotto ready to commit suicide. He is stopped by Tagliaferro, a German soldier looking for Mariandel, his colonel’s daughter, who was lost there 20 years ago. Lucinda is made to believe that the worst is happening, but in fact Cecchina still refuses the Marchese. Tagliaferro tells the Marchese that Cecchina is indeed Mariandel. Together they come across Cecchina asleep, dreaming of her father.


To the satisfaction of Armidoro and Lucinda, the Marchese announces that he is to marry a German noblewoman and persuades Cecchina of her true identity, confirmed by a blue mark on her breast. Mengotto consoles himself with Sandrina.

Personalities | Niccolò Piccinni | Classical Era | Opera


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