Rita & La Serva Padrona
Two one-act operas, Donizetti's Rita and Pergolesi's La Serva Padrona, take place on the same stage, their scenes and stories intertwined. One mute servant appears in both, tying the two tales together.
A scene of commotion arises when the dominating Rita and her timid husband Peppe receive an unexpected visit from Rita’s first husband Gaspar. Each believing the other to have died, Gaspar unknowingly arrives seeking Rita's death certificate so he can remarry. Peppe sees it as an opportunity to escape, as Gaspar is still Rita's legal husband. The two men agree to a game, the winner of which will have to stay with Rita. Each of them tries to lose, but Gaspar cunningly manipulates Rita and Peppe to fall in love again.
Meanwhile, wealthy old bachelor Uberto is kept under the thumb of his maid Serpina.He enlists his manservant Vespone to help him get rid of Serpina by finding him a wife. Serpina convinces Vespone to trick Uberto into marrying her. Their elaborate plan works and by the time Uberto has agreed to marry Serpina he realises he has loved her all along.