Music composed by Stephen Storace. Libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte, after
William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors, translated into English by
First Performance: 27 December 1786, Burg, Vienna.
|Eufemio of Syracuse, son of Egeon and twin brother of Eufemio of
|Dromio of Syracuse, servant of Eufemio of Syracuse and twin brother
of Dromio of Ephesus
|Eufemio of Ephesus, son of Egeon and twin brother of Eufemio of
|Dromio of Ephesus, servant of Eufemio of Ephesus and twin brother of
Dromio of Syracuse
|Silinus, Duke of Ephesus||Baritone|
|Egeon, a merchant from Syracuse||Baritone|
|Sofronia, wife of Eufemio of Ephesus||Soprano|
|Sostrate, sister of Sofronia||Soprano|
|Angelo, a goldsmith||Baritone|
|Lesbia, wife of Dromio of Syracuse||Soprano|
|Dromia, young child of Lesbia and Dromio of Syracuse||Soprano|
A violent storm shipwrecks Euphemio of Syracuse and his servant — unluckily
they have arrived at Ephesus where any Syracusan must pay a ransom or face
execution. Meanwhile in the city the elderly Aegeon is under that very
sentence. However, his story moves the Duke Solinus to grant him a day’s
remission: Aegeon had been searching for his twin sons (with their twin
servants), one of whom had been lost in another storm many years ago.
When Euphemio and Dromio slip into the city, every separation and meeting
between them brings inexplicable misunderstanding, and they soon fear the
presence of witchcraft. When they meet with two beautiful sisters, Euphemio is
roundly berated by Adriana, who claims him as her philandering husband.
Eventually he gives way and goes in to dine with Adriana and Luciana, whilst
Dromio is posted to keep watch at the gate.
Meanwhile, Adriana’s real husband, Euphemio of Ephesus, is counselled by the
goldsmith Angelo from whom he has ordered a chain. His servant Dromio is
attacked by a raving woman, Lesbia, who claims to be his long-abandoned wife.
The Ephesians are horrified when they are refused entry to their own home, and
they angrily attempt to beat down the door. Mounting confusion turns to mayhem,
and everyone fears the arrival of the night-watch.
Further misunderstandings develop around the delivery of Angelo’s gold
chain, and Euphemio of Ephesus tries to track down his ‘unfaithful’ wife. The
Syracusans remain perplexed when everybody addresses them – strangers in
the city — by name. Euphemio of Syracuse attempts to woo Luciana, who is
incredulous at the duplicity of her ‘brother-in-law’. Euphemio of Ephesus is
arrested for failing to pay for the chain, and in prison Angelo disguised as a
magician tries to exorcise the ‘lunatic’. Lesbia at last comes across her lost
husband, Dromio of Syracuse, and confronts him with their child, Dromia.
In the town square, as the Duke prepares for the execution of Aegeon,
Adriana petitions him for help over the irrational behaviour of her husband.
When all parties gather, the true extent of the comedy of errors is
[Synopsis Source: Bampton
image_description=Stephen Storace: The Comedy of Errors (Gli Equivoci)
first_audio_name=Stephen Storace: The Comedy of Errors (Gli Equivoci)
product_title=Stephen Storace: The Comedy of Errors (Gli Equivoci)
Adriana: Janet Price; Luciana: Eiddwen Harry; Eufemio of Ephesus: Kenneth Bowen; Eufemio of Syracuse: Neil Jenkins; Dromio of Syracuse: Alan Watt; Dromio of Ephesus: Malcolm King; Duke Solinus: John Tomlinson; Aegeon: Colin Wheatley; Angelo: Leslie Fyson; Lesbia: Della Jones. BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra. Steuart Bedford, conducting. Live performance, London, 10 December 1977.