Intermezzos were chamber operas for two or three characters in two acts which were placed between the acts of the opere serie (serious opera). They provided comic relief or a break from the long serious operas. We think of them fondly as the commercial break in a long evening of opera. They were almost always comical, and the plots are very similar: a young and attractive woman (soprano) wishes (either for reasons of love or money) to marry an older man (basso buffo) and uses her wiles to outwit the generally slower man. In the end, they realize that they do indeed love each other and have all along.
People came to love these operas. In fact, the most performed opera in the 18th century was an intermezzo. After they first appeared in 1706, they spread rapidly throughout Europe beginning in Naples and reaching Moscow in 1731 and London in 1737.
Now available! 2 intermezzi recorded by The Comic Intermezzo on Naxo Intl. Record Label: “Mirena e Floro” by Francesco Gasparini and Giovanni Bononcini and “Moschetta e Grullo” by Domenico Sarri.