Il mondo della Luna comprises a be farce in which the old fool and amateur astronomer Buonafede, who opposes the marriages of his daughters and his maid to their respective boyfriends, is tricked by one of the boyfriends, Ecclitico, into thinking that there is life on the moon.
The role of Ecclitico is particularly well played by Bernard Richter, who displays considerable range as both singer and actor here, providing some of the opera's funniest physical comedy while carrying the bulk of narrative.
An astronomer, Ecclitico, his friend, Ernesto, and his valet, Cecco, are in love, respectively, with the two daughters, Clarice and Flaminia, and the chambermaid, Lisetta, of a wealthy dilettante, Buonafede.
At the performance I saw, tenor Christopher Enns' Ecclitico displayed a crystalline voice and even phrasing.
He is duped by a charlatan astronomer (Ecclitico
), a knight (Ernesto) and his servant (Cecco) into believing he's been transported to the moon, where the local lunatics worship love and maintain politically incorrect practices, such as strict oppression of women.
Otherwise, there were some fine voices (notably Pierre-Etienne Bergeron as Ernesto and Antonio Figueroa as Ecclitico
), but in singers who still hadn't learned how to infuse their roles with distinctive character.