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November 18 - December 11,
Tues-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2:30
Set in Verona, The Amorous Servant tells the story Corallina, a strong-willed but very wise young servant who is caught between love and duty for her two masters.
The Amorous Servant
(La Serva amorosa):
Ottavio is an elderly, rich merchant in Verona. A widower, he took it upon himself to remarry about a year ago. Beatrice moved into the house, along with Lelio, her dim-witted son from a previous marriage. Desperate for security for herself and her son, Beatrice immediately began to manoeuvre so that Ottavio would make out his will in her favour. This led to fights with Ottavio's beloved son, Florindo, who was being cut out of the picture so, in a clumsy attempt to buy time, the old man has kicked the boy out of the house. Because he can barely survive on his pittance of an allowance, Corallina has gone to join Florindo, who is also her age and like a brother to her. This dubious arrangement, with these two young people living together in Florindo's shabby lodgings, has compromised Corallina's honour and set tongues wagging all over Verona. The situation is further complicated by Florindo's growing attachment for Corallina, who is his servant, and at the same time by his burgeoning love for Rosaura, the young daughter of Pantalone, a wealthy colleague of his father's.
Through this tangle of emotions for the young people involved runs the thread of social convention and the high stakes of great wealth. It was quite revolutionary on Goldoni's part, in 1752, to give this "amorous servant" such freedom, wisdom and power over her masters. In addition, one of the great intrigues in this elegant, moving comedy has to do with Corallina's mastery over herself.