After the opening cycle of three operatic first nights, on Wednesday 14th August at 4.00 p.m. at the Teatro Rossini the ROF will present the Cantata La riconoscenza (Gratitude), conducted by Donato Renzetti with the Filarmonica G. Rossini and the Chorus of the Teatro della Fortuna M Agostini. The solo singers will be Carmela Remigio (Argene), Victoria Yarovaya (Melania), Ruzil Gatin (Fileno) and Riccardo Fassi (Elpino).
The Cantata, dedicated to Maria Luisa Giuseppina di Borbone, was the last occasional work in praise of a great personage that Rossini wrote during his years in Naples. The sketchy plot is based upon the desire of some shepherds to honour l’eccelsa alma Luisa (the noble soul Luisa), whose greatness is rhetorically celebrated with due vigour in the lofty words of the text.
La riconoscenza was first performed privately in the first days of August 1821 at the home of Antonio Capece Minutolo, Prince of Canosa: it seems certain that Maria Luisa herself was not in Naples at the time and so La riconoscenza was performed in her absence.
A few months later, on the 27th December 1821, the Cantata received its first public performance at the San Carlo theatre, on the occasion of a benefit night for Rossini, who was about to leave Naples for ever.
In April 1822 Maria Luisa came to Naples on a state visit and the opportunity was seized to perform La riconoscenza at the Teatro del Fondo. The Neapolitan theatrical artisans staged the Cantata again (with a few changes), so the Tuscan sovereign could at last hear, and probably for the first time, the work that her beloved Rossini had dedicated to her.