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Donato Di Stefano and Patrizia Biccirè in Ferruccio Soleri's production of Pergolesi's La Serva Pedrona.
Premiered in 1733, Pergolesi's La Serva Pedrona is a Major event in the history of opera. Due to the lightheatedness of the plot and the ordinariness of the characters – not to say their coarseness – La Serva Pedrona launched what is known today as "the Quarrel of the Comic Actors" ("la Querelle des Bouffons" in French), a quarrel that brought into conflict the advocates of the French tradition against the proponents of the Italian music, the latter gathered behing the philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau. If what they were fighting about seems trifling to the modern observer, the quarrel occasioned fierce reactions wavering between jingoistic arguements and unjustified critics of the French style. Be that as it may, La Serva Pedrona is a masterpiece, all the more so with the charmismatic Donato Di Stefano in the role of Uberto and the delightfull Patrizia Biccirè giving life to the mischievous Serpina.