"La scala di seta" is an operatic farsa comica in one act by Gioachino Rossini to a libretto by Giuseppe Maria Foppa. It was first performed in Venice, Italy, at the Teatro San Moisè on 9 May 1812. The overture has been frequently recorded and continues to be featured in the modern concert repertoire.
From 1810 to 1813, the young Rossini composed four Italian farse, beginning with La cambiale di matrimonio (The Bill of Marriage), his first opera, and ending with Il Signor Bruschino. These types of short pieces were popular in Venice at the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century. The pieces were intimate, with a cast of five to seven singers, always including a pair of lovers, at least two comic parts, and one or two other minor roles. The style called for much visual comedy improvised by the players. As compared to many genres of opera, acting and comedic talent is more important relative to the required singing ability. Rossini’s farces also have a significant sentimental element.
Rossini's sparkling La scala di seta of 1812 weaves a burlesque tale of gentlemen climbing in and out of a lady's bedchamber on a silken ladder. Damiano Michieletto's modern-day production from the Rossini Festival in Pesaro sets the action in the two room apartment of the heroine Giulia, sung with 'wonderful suppleness' (Opernwelt) by Olga Peretyatko. The production also features a spectacular grand aria for Blansac (Carlo Lepore) extraneous to the work. Leading a young and spirited cast of Rossini specialists is maestro Claudio Scimone, a key figure in the international Rossini Renaissance.
These video recordings all from the Schwetzingen opera festival were recorded in the late 80s and early 90s and originally released on laser disk on the Teldec label.