Role: Lisinga (Mezzo)

Composer: Gluck Christoph Willibald

Opera: Le cinesi


Ferma, crudele
Le cinesi (The Chinese Women) is an opera in one act, with music composed by Christoph Willibald Gluck. The Italian-language libretto was by Pietro Metastasio, and he described it as a componimento drammatico. This libretto had first been set by Antonio Caldara in 1735. For Gluck's rework, the piece is often considered as an azione teatrale, even though Metastasio and the composer both retained the original designation. The work was first performed for the Austrian royal family at the Schloss Hof on 24 September 1754, on the occasion of the visit of the Empress Maria Theresa to the household of Saxe-Hildburghausen.
Max Loppert has commented on Gluck's relationship with the Austrian royal family and its bearings on this work. The work has also been characterized as a satire on then-contemporary opera conventions.
The Chinese women of the title are Lisinga and her two friends, Tangia and Sivene. The only other character is Lisinga's brother Silango, who has just returned from Europe. To entertain him, they perform arias in contrasting styles:
The characters agree that each style has its drawbacks. The opera concludes with a ballet, The Judgment of Paris, sung as a vocal quartet.