Sodi's Opera for Mme Favart: "Baiocco et Serpilla"

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


An interesting opera was written in 1753 for Justine Favart and Charles-Raymond Rochard de Bouillac of the Comédie-Italienne, and was even published: but it was missed by Favart's biographer and is regularly misrepresented, for obvious reasons: it shares its title with other, related works of the same era. In 1753, Justine Favart expanded her vocal technique, having lessons with Carlo Sodi, in order to perform music by Pergolesi and other modern Italian composers of intermezzi and opere buffe. She became the object of intense public enthusiasm. Sodi had cut short his career in Italy to work for the Comédie-Italienne, a theatre whose musical works were obliged to relate parodistically to existing models. Sodi therefore re-set a Franco-Italian text from 1729 written by P. F. Biancolelli and J. A. Romagnesi for the same theatre, which was itself a parody of the popular intermezzo comedy entitled 'Il giocatore' (the gambler), music originally by Orlandini. The article concludes with an analysis of Sodi's solutions to the difficult business of creating a new score out of a pre-existing libretto that accommodated borrowed music ('vaudevilles'). At the same time, Sodi's solutions give us a unique 'voice-print' of Justine Favart's vocal resources.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLa 'Querelle des Bouffons' dans la vie culturelle française du XVIIIe siècle
EditorsAndrea Fabiano
Place of PublicationParis
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)2271063280
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Publication series

NameSciences de la musique. Série Études.
PublisherCNRS Editions


  • Opera, Carlo Sodi, Justine Favart, comedy, Bouffons, parody, vocal technique, word-setting

Cite this