Apparently, there is someone else...
The Servant Wife


Dienstmaagd Serpina wil dat haar collega Vespone zich voordoet als haar geliefde om hun meester Uberto jaloers te maken.

(INSTEAD OF RECITATIVE: "Or che fatto ti sei dalla mia parte")

Only Serpina and Vespone are left behind on stage.

VESPONE

He doesn’t seem up for it.

SERPINA

He only needs some encouragement.

VESPONE

Or a barrel of Sambuca.

SERPINA

A more powerful potion is called jealousy.

VESPONE

Oh, you’re mean!

(stares in front of him)

But where to find an oblivious victim to sacrifice? Who would be so stupid to willingly put himself in danger?

Silence. Serpina looks to him and a smile appears on her face.

SERPINA

I might have found the perfect opponent.

She casually fixes his hair.

VESPONE

No way! Not me! Forget about it! I don’t want to lose my living!

At that very moment Uberto reenters the stage, wearing his coat, sword and hat, and is ready to leave. He has recomposed himself.

UBERTO

(determined)

When I come back, you are gone. Is that clear?

SERPINA

(submissively)

Off course, padrone.

Uberto waits for more resistance, but Serpina only makes a reverence.

UBERTO

You take all your belongings out of my house, and I never want to see you again!

SERPINA

I promise, padrone.

Silence. Uberto doesn’t understand why she’s surrendering so easily.

UBERTO

So don’t come back for any favors, because you’re on your own now.

SERPINA

You can rest assured, padrone, I am not. Somebody else has taken over your burden.

UBERTO

What are you talking about?

SERPINA

(to Vespone)

Tell him.

Uberto looks at Vespone, who has great difficulty in bringing himself to lie. Serpina encourages him with a nod.

VESPONE

Apparently, there is someone else...

SERPINA

I am going to get married!

She is beaming with joy.

UBERTO

(reserved)

Sure, you are.

Serpina uses the silver tray as a mirror and admires her own looks.

SERPINA

To someone who is madly in love with me! Who doesn’t shout at me and order me around. Someone who really appreciates me for who I am.

She kisses her reflection and puts the silver tray aside.

UBERTO

(to Vespone)

Is that true?

Vespone blushes and is stuck for words.

VESPONE

... yes...

Serpina has embraced him tightly. She kisses Vespone as a stand-in for her love and pushes him aside.

SERPINA

(to Uberto)

He is a captain. A real captain.

Out of sheer love she has grabbed both hands of Uberto.

SERPINA

Aren’t you happy for me?!

Silence. There is a palpable tension between them.

UBERTO

(insincere)

Yes, I am... very...

He withdraws his hand and is unsure of what to do next.

SERPINA

Thank you for everything you have done for me. Without you I would have been lost. I will always be grateful to you for the rest of my life.

She blows an imaginary kiss to Uberto.

SERPINA

Farewell, mio padrone.

In great confusion Uberto walks backwards, turns around and leaves.

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The opera was full of comedy and refreshingly accessible to all! Please do more!

David

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