Opera in Theory and Practice, Image and Myth, Page 2, Volume 6

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Lorenzo Bianconi, Giorgio Pestelli
University of Chicago Press, 2003 - 456 pages
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The History of Italian Opera marks the first time a team of scholars has worked together to investigate the entire Italian operatic tradition, rather than limiting its focus to major composers and their masterworks. Including both musicologists and historians of other arts, the contributors approach opera not only as a distinctive musical genre but also as a form of extravagant theater and a complex social phenomenon.

This sixth volume in the series centers on the sociological and critical aspects of opera in Italy, considering the art in the context of an Italian literary and cultural canon rarely revealed in English and American studies. In its six chapters, contributors survey critics' changing attitudes toward opera over several centuries, trace the evolution of formal conventions among librettists, explore the historical relationships between opera and Italian literature, and examine opera's place in Italian popular and national culture. In perhaps the volume's most striking contribution, German scholar Carl Dahlouse offers his most important statement on the dramaturgy of opera.
 

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Contents

Poetics and Polemics
1
One of the most honored pleasures in drama
8
A composition that must be disordered if it is to please
23
A unified complete and musical whole
46
The lightest of transparent veils obscuring nothing of the drama
55
Bibliographic Note
66
The Dramaturgy of Italian Opera
73
Methodological Considerations
81
The AntiMetastasio Opposition and Comic Opera
184
The Energy of Comedy in Opera Seria
195
Bibliographic Note
216
The Reasons
228
Orpheus in the Underworld or the Rebirth of Tragedy
236
Forbidden Pleasures
245
From the Onesided Poem to the Segmented Universe
252
Rosina
262

Music Theater Opera Musical Drama
83
The Libretto and Its Functions
85
Fabula and Intrigue
91
Parola Scenica and Sounding Silence
94
Text and Work
97
The Theatrical Dynamic
99
The Primacy of the Present
102
Stage Music as Quotation and Reality
105
Time Structures
107
Forms and Contents
113
The Configuration of Characters and the Action
116
Interior and Exterior Dialogue
119
Interior Action
121
Pathos and Ethos
124
Dialogue and Duet
127
Simultaneity
132
Questions of Genre
136
Tragedy and the Lieto Fine
139
Comedy with Music and Comic Opera
142
Bibliographic Note
147
Metrical and Formal Organization
151
The Prosody of Blank Verse
154
The Aria
159
Recitative and Cavata
166
From Interpolations to the Da Capo
171
Metastasio
178
Re orso
271
Ulisse
278
The Dissemination and Popularization of Opera
287
Bellinis Spinners and Verdis Crockery Seller or BakedPear Seller
295
Donizetti or Bellini at All Costs
306
Opera and Folk Culture
313
How Verdi Saved the Anarchist from the Galley
320
The Village Music Lover and Violetta in Church
331
Radames a k a Baratieri
333
The WoodenHeaded Prima Donna
337
Opera outside the Opera House
346
Opera in Boxes Small and Large
350
Signor Galbiati Takes Opera Home with Him
359
The Hammy Baritone Maestro Muddle Dinetta and Margherita Who Is Not Who She Was
366
6Opera in Italian National Culture
377
The Unobtainable Cultural Character of the New Nation
380
Hybrids of Old and New
384
How and Why Italian Literature Did Not Become Popular in Italy
386
A Mission for Opera
408
A Cultural Impasse Becomes an Artistic Stance
416
Sublimations of the Subculture
417
Semblances of Unity
419
Opera Goes out of Character
430
Index
437
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About the author (2003)

Lorenzo Bianconi is a professor of musical dramaturgy at the University of Bologna, Italy. He is the author of Music in the Seventeenth Century.

Giorgio Pestelli is a professor of music history at the University of Turin, Italy, and music critic for La Stampa. He is the author of The Age of Mozart and Beethoven. Together they edited Opera Production and Its Resources and Opera on Stage, both books in The History of Italian Opera series published by the University of Chicago Press.

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