Dutch National Opera presents

Il matrimonio segreto Domenico Cimarosa (1749 – 1801)

This show was to been seen in June 2019


Duration 2:50

Breaks 1

By Domenico Cimarosa

Language Italian

Surtitles Dutch

A marriage, kept secret because of differences in social standing, comes under threat in this comic opera.

In short

Il matrimonio segreto is an 18th-century Italian comic opera by Domenico Cimarosa. You can hear the influence of Mozart in the music, and the characters are in the commedia dell’arte style so typical of this genre. Filled with comic intrigues and confusions, the libretto by Giovanni Bertati is about following your heart.

Il matrimonio segreto is performed by the young talent of the Dutch National Opera Studio. The Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, conducted by Gianluca Capuano, takes place in the orchestra pit.


In order to raise his status, the rich merchant Geronimo wants to marry off his two daughters Carolina and Elisetta to gentleman of the nobility. But the younger daughter, Carolina, is already married to Geronimo’s servant Paolino. They have kept their marriage secret because of the difference in their status. Count Robinson wants to marry Elisetta, but changes his mind when he meets her sister and sets his sights on Carolina instead. This causes serious problems for the young couple and there is one misunderstanding after another. The count cannot understand Carolina’s rejections and Elisetta is jealous of the attention paid to her sister by the count. Aunt Fidalma complicates matters even further, as she has set her sights on marrying Paolino. There is complete chaos, and the young married couple are forced to flee. However, they are caught and in the end they have to confess their secret marriage. The count is touched by Carolina’s sincerity, and Geronimo relents and gives his blessing to his daughter.

Il matrimonio segreto is a retake of the coproduction with Nederlandse Reisopera and Opera Zuid in 2016.


Watch the trailer of Il matrimonio segreto (2016).

Talented youngsters

Dutch National Opera Studio 
Only talented youngsters are taking part this time. They are following the young artists programme, the Dutch National Opera Studio, that started in 2018 with the international renowned soprano Rosemary Joshua as artistic leader. The production is like in 2016, directed by Monique Wagemakers, a much sought-after opera director.

Young Italian designers
A special competition was held to find young talented designers for the sets and costumes of Il matrimonio segreto. A total of 49 designs were sent in from all over the world, from which seven teams were selected to present their designs and models to a jury. Two young Italian designers, Francesco Cocco and Federica Miani, were the winners of the first Dutch Opera Design Award. The title of their design is 'Love hidden in the empty closet'.




Il matrimonio segreto is a retake of the coproduction with Nederlandse Reisopera and Opera Zuid.


Domenico Cimarosa
Opera in due atti
Libretto by Giovanni Bertati, based on the play The Clandestine Marriage by George Colman the Elder and David Garrick
Word premiere 7 February 1792, Imperial Hofburg Theatre, Vienna

    Tue 16 Apr Il matrimonio segreto - de Volkskrant ****(2016)

    Director Wagemakers guides the young professionals with a steady hand along the slippery slope of psychology and humour'.

    Tue 16 Apr Il matrimonio segreto - NRC ****(2016)

    'The audience is filled with enthusiasm, there is excellent singing in ensembles with a touch of perfection and Monique Wagemakers' great direction excels in timing and details.'

    Tue 16 Apr Il matrimonio segreto - Trouw ****(2016)

    'About the first thing you think of after seeing the performance of Domenico Cimarosa's 'Il matrimonio segreto' is: what a pity that this can only be seen five times.'

Monique Wagemakers


Monique Wagemakers (Regie) studied at the Brabants Conservatorium in Tilburg. At Dutch National Opera she directed Madama Butterfly, Rigoletto and Lucia di Lammermoor.

Team, Cast and Chorus

Gianluca Capuano
Stage Director
Monique Wagemakers
Set Designer
Francesco Cocco
Costume Designer
Federica Miani
Lighting Designer
Alex Brok
Klaus Bertisch
Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century
Julietta Aleksanyan
Verity Wingate
Polly Leech
Lucas van Lierop
Il conte Robinson
Martin Mkhize
Cody Quattlebaum