An opera about opera - thus can be briefly characterised Donizetti’s dramma giocoso Le convenienze ed inconvenienze teatrali (Conventions and Inconveniences of the Stage), also known as Viva la Mamma. The action takes place during the preparations and rehearsals for a new opera production, featuring singers, artists, theatre-makers and staff both on stage and backstage. Perhaps the most distinct character is that of Mamma Agata, the mother of the second donna, portrayed by a man. The application of travesty highlights the comicality of both the personage and the whole farce, thus linking up to the centuries-old tradition of comic theatre. The conduct of the other protagonists is funny, annoying, yet moving too. And just as funny, annoying and moving, and in the final analysis, admirable, is the behaviour of today’s descendants of Donizetti’s characters. The very timelessness of the operatic farce is actually that which makes it so enthralling. In addition to an amusing plot, the audiences can also savour Donizetti’s brilliant bel canto music at its peak. By and large, the opera is a sort of quintessence of 19th–century musical comedy, which also has the indisputable potential of enchanting present-day consumers.
The opera is staged in Italian original version. Czech and English surtitles are used in the performance.
Approximate running time, including intermission:
2 hours, 20 minutes, one 20-minute intermission.