Fra i due litiganti il terzo gode

Fra i due litiganti il terzo gode ("While Two Dispute, the Third Enjoys") is a dramma giocoso in two acts by Giuseppe Sarti. The libretto was after Carlo Goldoni's Le nozze (The Marriage).

One aria from this opera, Come un agnello, is famously quoted by Mozart at the end of Don Giovanni.[1]

Performance history

It was first performed at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan on 14 September 1782. It became very successful, being produced under different names, in different languages, and in numerous European cities. For instance, it was performed as Le nozze di Dorina, with inserted arias by Giovanni Battista Viotti, for the opening of the Théâtre de Monsieur in Paris on 6 January 1791.[2][3] The work also accumulated music composed by Pasquale Anfossi, Antonio Salieri, and Stephen Storace in addition to the composer himself.


Cast Voice type Premiere, September 14, 1782
(Conductor: unknown)
Count Belfiore bass Giovanni Marliani
Countess Belfiore soprano Angela Marzorati
Masotto, steward to the Count and Countess, in love with Dorina tenor Antonio Palmini
Dorina. a serving maid soprano Nancy Storace
Titta, servant to the Count, also pursuing Dorina baritone Francesco Benucci
Mingone, the gardener, likewise interested in Dorina tenor Giuseppe Lolli
Livietta, the Countess's maid soprano Vittoria Moreschi Balzani


The opera has a story similar to Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro involving complex intrigues between a pair of jealous, quarrelling aristocrats and their servants.


  1. For a detailed discussion of this borrowing, see Daniel E. Freeman, Mozart in Prague (Minneapolis: Bearclaw, 2013), 222-24.
  2. Warwick Lister, Amico: The Life of Giovanni Battista Viotti, p. 147. (Oxford, 1992) ISBN 978-0-19-537240-3.
  3. "Sarti, Giuseppe" in 'The New Grove Dictionary of Opera', ed. Stanley Sadie, vol. 4, p. 185. (London, 1992) ISBN 0-333-73432-7.
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