Zerbina is a maid who has been this old doctor's ward for about 5 years, and when he decides that he's had it with her attitude and he wants to give her away, she schemes a plan to make him want to marry her so she can stay with him. But she doesn't love him, really.... I don't think? I haven't even quite figured that out yet. She doesn't really seem to be in love with him, she just likes the status of their weird father-and-not-daughter bickering.
One aspect I can't really relate with is how pushy she is with this man that is supposed to be "in-charge" of her. It's really funny because she is a lower status than him and pushes him around like it's not a big deal. But I can't think of anything relatable in my life that is like that. I like to use sarcasm on people that I date to just mess with them, but I'm never serious about. And this character is. She essentially tells him that he needs to listen to her because she is really in charge of the house and not him. I'm thinking, "Shut up, woman! He's gonna smack your facccccccce!"
But this never happens unfortunately. She just schemes up and plan that actually DOES work, and he decides to marry her after she dresses up their servant as a Bulgarian army captain...heh. It is pretty funny though. I just can't relate to where she is coming from. It didn't help when the director mentioned that part of the issue of this opera is men treating women as possessions. Dr. Pandolfo does try and essentially give her away because she gets in his hair too much. So THEN maybe she IS asserting herself as a dominant female character??? Hm. Possibly? Even at the end of the production, they decide to get married but they aren't really sure if they are "in" love. But they do love each other in that "I hate you, but don't leave me" way. They need each other. It's the "My Fair Lady" complex! The Pygmalion effect!!! I guess he did help mold her into a smart woman.
Maybe she isn't impossible to relate to then. It's also difficult being a 20-something girl raised in the 20th/21st century and trying to act like a more prudish hen-pecking female. Apparently, I walk like I've worn pants my entire life. Which I have. Whoops? I have to "keep my legs together"... Even when I'm wearing a skirt, I'm STILL not girly enough! It's also a style of acting that I'm not familiar with. Comedia d'ell arte! I don't think I've ever seen anything in that style. Hello youtube! I dont' know if youtube has any videos that have people acting in that style. But we shall see. The production in this month on Sepetember 26th in Macon, so I don't have a lot of time to really delve into a character. But I think with the information I've somehow shown light upon that I can make something out of her that I will enjoy performing.
Go Peach State Opera!