A Canadian in Rossini?

Yes, there is a Rossini opera with a Canadian character.  Well, OK it’s a bit ambiguous whether he’s Canadian or American and the librettist doesn’t seem quite sure that they aren’t the same thing.  Anyway, likely the earliest of an appearance of a Canadian in opera unless one counts the Les sauvages d’Amérique section of Rameau’s Les Indes Galantes.  The opera is the early one act comedy, La cambiale di matrimonio.  It’s a bit of a one trick pony.  An English merchant has contracted to marry his daughter to the Canadian, Snook, but she’s already unofficially engaged to another.  After much faffing about Snook makes the contract over to the other suitor and makes him his heir.  The joke, such as it is, is that all this is carried out in the language of commercial contracts.  For example, when Snook minds out that Fanny is engaged he considers the “merchandise” to be “mortgaged” and so on.  Still it provides a back drop for some showy singing and the usual rapid fire Rossini ensemble numbers.

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