There’s a great opera parlor game that involves naming characters who have a great bearing on an opera plot and are referred to in the libretto but who never actually appear. We’ve gone one better – in The Inspector, it’s the title character who never shows up.
No matter, for everyone onstage spends the whole night believing that someone else actually is the inspector, and that’s what matters. The gentleman who benefits from this case of mistaken identity is Tancredi, and he’s accompanied by his teacher and friend Cosimo.
Tancredi. Tenor. Late 20s, early 30s. Tall, blonde, handsome, elegant, but a little gawky. His slightly affected demeanor suggests someone important.
Cosimo. Baritone. 40s–50s or beyond. Tancredi’s teacher and friend, posing as his servant. Exceedingly smart, acerbic, more pragmatic than Tancredi.
Overheard in Rehearsal
“We were trying to make art.”
“That was your first mistake.”
“This is entertainment.”