Jean-Joseph Vadé’s popularity as a composer and librettist is evident in the publication of his collected works, which first appeared in 1755 but was expanded in 1758, a year after his death. Vadé’s œuvre consists of mostly opéras comiques, some with original music rather than preexisting tunes. The collected works editions include fictional correspondence and poetry. Vadé’s interest in capturing the bustling atmosphere of fish markets is evident in such works as Les quatre bouquets poissard…
The intermezzo La serva padrona first appeared between the acts of Pergolesi’s Il prigioniero superbo in 1733. This was the standard way in which to present an intermezzo. The work served as comic relief in the midst of more solemn opera serie, and incorporated elements of the improvisational commedia del’arte tradition. For instance, the few characters are drawn from stock types, such as the servant Serpina.