Rossini in the Palmengarten, 2022

After the pandemic-years 2020 and 2021, with their ever-changing rules and restrictions, the Frankfurt Chamber Opera (Kammeroper) returned to the Palmengarten and put on ten open-air performances of a staged opera in the summer of 2022. Okay, it was only a one-act opera, but they made it seem like two by inserting an intermission “after the trio” in the middle.

Seating at the bandstand in the Palmengarten

As in all the good-old pre-pandemic years, the bandstand in the Palmengarten served as the stage. The orchestra sat in front of the bandstand under the open sky, and the audience sat in the permanently-installed rows of metal benches facing the bandstand.

Program booklet for The Happy Deception

The opera this time was one that had never been produced in Frankfurt before, namely L’inganno felice (in German Die glückliche Täuschung, in English The Happy Deception) by Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868). This ‘farce for music’ is an early opera of Rossini’s, composed when he was twenty years old and first performed in Venice in 1812, when it was a big success for the young composer.

The original Italian text for this opera was written by Giuseppe Maria Foppa (1760-1845), a prolific librettist who wrote about at least eighty libretti, mainly for comical operas. (I find the name Foppa funny because there is a German verb foppen, meaning to tease or fool someone by saying something that isn’t true.)

In Frankfurt, the opera was sung in German in a new translation by Thomas Peter, who also played and sung one of the major roles. He has translated several other Italian operas for the Kammeroper in recent (pre-pandemic) years, and they have all been singable and easy to understand.

Applause after The Happy Deception in the Palmengarten

After the two interminable corona-years, it was certainly nice to have a funny and well-performed open-air opera in the Palmengarten once again. The applause at the end was long and enthusiastic.

My photos and text in this post are from 2022.

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