Bogus astrologer, Ecclitico, is deeply in love with Clarice, but her father, Bonafede, is very protective of his daughters and wants to secure good marriages for them. When Ecclitico learns that Bonafede is particularly interested in astrology, he devises a plan to persuade Bonafede to give him Clarice’s hand in marriage. With the help of his friend Ernesto, who is in love with Bonafede’s oldest daughter Flaminia, and the servant Cecco, who is in love with Bonafede’s maid, Lisetta, Ecclitico makes Bonafede believe that there is a world on the moon. He persuades Bonafede that they must go and meet the Emperor of the moon, and gives him a sleeping draught, telling him it is a potion that will make him light enough to float to the moon.
When he wakes up in Ecclitico’s garden, Bonafede is convinced he has travelled to the moon. Ecclitico has filled the garden with machinery and scenery to convince him that the world is transformed. Cecco disguises himself as the Emperor, and Ernesto is one of the Emperor’s esteemed knights. But will they convince Bonafede that the customs on the moon require that his daughters and maid marry these mysterious men, right here on the moon, or will Bonafede realise it is all a trick?
Haydn’s Il mondo della luna is a hilarious opera buffa, with great scope for imaginative directing and design as the characters recreate an entire moonscape, complete with resident moon-people, called ‘lunatics’, and their own alien language.
Il mondo della luna guide sections