Parma luci del ricordo (Opere Vol. 4) (Italian Edition)
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I argue that this process of cultural translation significantly reveals anxieties that underlie contemporary Italian society, due to recent migrations and its long-unacknowledged colonial past. Through the adoption of an intersectional approach, I will examine the interracial relationship between Feven, an Eritrean-born woman, and Carlo, demonstrating that racial discourses are displaced onto gender preoccupations in a retreatist narrative that leaves race directly unaddressed.
Eleonora Sammartino holds a PhD in Film Studies from Kings College London, with a thesis on the relationship between gender identity and the contemporary American film musical. Her research interests include American film and theatre musical, feminist theories and popular media, star studies, and identity politics in Italian media. In particular, his Still Life shows the impact that the Three Gorges state-run hydro-electric dam project had on the social fabric of the local population. The entire city of Fengjie had to be evacuated before disappearing under the waters of an artificially created lake.
His traveling camera lingers with exceptionally slow long takes on the ruins scattered across the Po River delta region. The film is punctuated by interventions of the art critic John Berger who reads passages reflecting on the new aesthetics that those ruins impose to our gaze. She teaches literary theory, modern and postmodern literatures, and Italian literature and cinema.
She has published two co-authored books, Calvino newyorkese Avagliano, and Le eccentriche Tre lune, Bernadette Luciano , Professor of Italian at the University of Auckland, specializes in Italian cinema and cultural studies. Italy in split up for months on the destiny of over In a new law promoted by Interior Minister, Matteo Salvini, set up even harder conditions for the approval of applications for citizenship and enables the loss of citizenship for people sentenced for terrorism. In the last few years, this need for rights and new narratives is beginning to be expressed in films and series also through the experiences of second-generation performers and directors.
This paper aims at offering a reasoned look at the image of this generation in transit as promoted by Italian films, documentaries, TV and web series. He runs the website Cinemafrica and the blog Cinemafrodiscendente. His latest publications include La cittadinanza come luogo di lotta. Per una controstoria postcoloniale del cinema italiano Aracne, The primary focus is on social, political, and gender issues and how they have come to shape the visual culture of our times. His publications address interdisciplinary topics at the crossway of the Renaissance and later modernity.
He then published a collection of essays titled Una serie ininterrotta di gesti riusciti Marsilio, and is now completing a book manuscript on Ariosto in the Machine Age. Per Francesco, la regista si rimette in gioco da artista, riproponendo una visione del mondo sempre attuale. Ha prodotto film e documentari e collabora a riviste specializzate. She coordinates the MA programme in Film Studies.
Between Philosophy and Literature Bloomsbury, , and E. Forster Revisited Solfanelli, She is currently completing a monograph on the filmic adaptations of Victorian and Neo-Victorian Literature. I prefer to live in Italy. For many people in the English-speaking world, Italy stands for beauty, passion and romance, and this is reflected in a long list of British and American movies.
David Leans film Summer Madness perfectly illustrates this attitude. Set in Venice, the film recounts the love affair between an inexperienced American spinster Katherine Hepburn and her passionate Italian lover Rossano Brazzi. Here, like in numerous other British and American movies which were often Italian co-productions , La Serenissima serves as a backdrop and inspiration for a romantic love story.
Special attention will be paid to the citys function as a catalyst for erotic encounters. The films discussed can thus be seen as contributions to Italian erotic cinema, a chapter of Italian film history that still has to be written. Contestualmente la Film Commission ha generato un forte potere di attrazione sulle produzioni internazionali Europa, Stati Uniti, India , che hanno utilizzato il Salento come set codificando un altro tipo di paesaggio.
Questo intervento intende presentare alcuni casi di studio in grado di esemplificare gli approcci locali e transnazionali al paesaggio, sia in ambito documentaristico che finzionale. Fa parte del comitato di redazione di Segnocinema. As the West was forced to confront the rise of the former colonial, or economically colonized, world, a revolution occurred also at the level of language.
Altrettanto importante, il documentario ottenne che la visione femminista dello stupro entrasse nella consapevolezza collettiva e nel dibattito nazionale sulla legge di riforma del delitto della violenza sessuale. Women behaving badly in crime and prison drama Intellect, Tra i suoi lavori : Public engagement e civic agency: percorsi di educazione alla cittadinanza, in Serpieri R. Fabrizio , Representaciones y de construcciones , Dickinson, Madrid, ; con V. Giordano e S. Parisi eds. Esperienza e percezione del limite tra gli adolescenti , Franco Angeli, Milano, ; con L.
Guadarrama Rico, J. Vilchis Valero. Suarez Villegas eds.
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Modelli, processi, contenuti , Carocci, Roma, I suoi interessi scientifici sono relativi al campo della comunicazione, del transmedia storytelling e dei consumi culturali. Si occupa inoltre di rappresentazioni televisive, con particolare riferimento alla fiction. Il protagonismo femminile nella fiction italiana , in M. Buonanno a cura di , Il prisma dei generi Angeli ; Sulle onde sonore.
Strategie e usi sociali della musica alla radio , in A. De Benedictis e F. I suoi principali interessi scientifici sono relativi al campo della comunicazione, dei social media e dei consumi culturali. Tra le sue principali pubblicazioni, Infiniti Anni Ottanta , Homo Communicans , Potere e comunicazione: Media, politica e istituzioni in tempi di crisi She will address La dolce vita as a musical continuum that fills up the vacuity of precarious existence, thus pointing as an idea to the ways in which sound as created artifact, through its own surplus, has the power to undermine subjectivity, while in the breaks of the continuum, sounds of nature become vehicles for an appeal to intimacy, interiority, and relational being.
She received her PhD from Brown. She is the author of Petrarchs Poetics and Literary History and essays in European medieval and Renaissance literature, European cinema studies, transnational feminist media studies, new media, border art, and eco-cinema. Her areas of interest include Italian cinema, Deleuzian theory, cinema of poetry, intermediality, literary translation, lyric essay and creative writing. A poet and creative nonfiction writer, as well as a scholar, her lyric essay Marathon Meditation was published in the Los Angeles Review of Books Quarterly Journal , and her untitled short poem recently won the Santa Clarita Sidewalk Poetry Contest.
He has published on American, Italian-American, and Italian cinema. Phantasmagoria, the Magic Lantern, the Moving Panorama, and then the cinematographic screens are just some of its most typical expressions. The digital revolution has intensified and multiplied our exposure to new screens, such as computer monitors, mobile phones, GPS devices, video games consoles, augmented reality, necessarily involving us in new experiences of mobility, tactility, interactivity, connectivity and immersion.
This panel aims to explore how the Italian arts have creatively responded to the concept and materiality of screens in various forms of intermediality across cinema, video art, video installations, theatre, architecture and urban spaces across the decades. Our papers will concentrate on three periods: ss, s and the New Millennium. Screens and theatricality in Italian art, c. This talk will consider this historical proliferation through the lens of art, by looking at various manifestations of — and takes on — the screen in Italian art of the period, focusing on the vetrini of Bruno Munari ss , the schermi and projections of Fabio Mauri ss , and the Environmental Screen of Marinella Pirelli Revisiting, among others, Michael Frieds well-known notion of theatricality or theatre , and Stanley Cavells conception of the screen as a barrier , I will consider how a significant number of artists in these decades sought to engage both cinema and theatre, and to challenge the barrier of the screen.
The engagement of the screen in the works of Munari, Mauri and Pirelli, where screens envelop ordinary objects, or become props or even stages for the viewer, are exemplary of such attempt to articulate cinema theatrically, so to speak, as an intermedial force which may undo, or at least re-draw, the boundaries of art and its disciplines.
Her research explores the interrelations between art and cinema, film and photography, live and recorded media, with a focus on post practices. Emanuela Patti Royal Holloway, University of London, UK Beyond computer screens: projecting digital moving images in public spaces In this paper, I will explore creative practices which experimented with the projection of computer-generated images beyond their original setting, namely the computer monitor.
I will particularly emphasise and compare the purpose and reception of these practices in the period ss and today, as well as the role they have had in our perception of space. Her research interests range across a variety of areas, including modern and contemporary Italian culture, digital screen cultures, intermediality. Ha pubblicato il libro L'apocalisse postmoderna tra letteratura e cinema Le Lettere, , curato il volume Imaginary Films in Literature Rodopi, assieme a S.
Ercolino, M. Fusillo e L. Ha pubblicato articoli e saggi su cinema e letteratura, sul digital storytelling e i nuovi media. Collabora con diversi FilmFest e WebFest. Di prossima uscita il volume co-curato con Silvia Antosa, Sex t ualities. Morfologie del corpo tra visioni e narrazioni Mimesis, Chair: Colleen M. In Italy the series is available on TimVision and, similarly to the American context, followed by large audience. Francesca is currently working a new edited collection on women and food in Italian literature, cinema and other forms of visual arts.
Sordi, Comedy Italian Style Springer, Such perceptions of aging may result from the generally limited presence of senesce onscreen. A monograph-length study on the topic of senescence in Italian cinema has yet to be carried out. Scholarship is limited in scope and follows a decidedly gendered division. Working towards the closure of this lacuna, this paper proposes five avenues for future research on aging in Italian film studies: 1.
The synecdocal relation of the national Italian body and onscreen representations of death and decline in old age; 2. Sexuality in the silver years; 4. Tradition, transition, and generational conflict; and 5. More meaningful images of old age. Lisa works primarily on contemporary Italian cinema and culture, and is particularly interested in the topics of migration, aging, and masculinity.
Her refereed journal articles interrogate the fluid sexual and racial identities of migrant protagonists onscreen. Along with preparing a monograph for publication, tentatively titled Screening Sterile Masculinity: On Male Migrants, Italian Men, and the Future of Italy , she is working on a project that investigates representations of aging in Italian cinema.
Critics praise his work for its subtle intertextual ramifications, its original editing, its combination of a distant, burlesque and intimistic tone Curnier At first sight, Tableau avec chutes mainly portrays different sites and types of footage related to immigration showing how migrants can reconnect to their roots. Her main area of research is Italian border literature.
Her most recent research interests focus on trauma literature, cultural memory and Jewish-Italian literature Liana Millu, Giuliana Tedeschi, Luciana Nissim, Aldo Zargani and on the new Italian documentary of the Italian diaspora. Rivista europea di studi italiani. From the late s to the early s, the contribution of Italian filmmakers to the development of South American cinema was monumental. Three countries that specifically benefited from the contribution of Italian filmmakers were Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia. Moreover, little is known about the contribution of Italian artists to Colombia's silent cinema in which Italian filmmakers have had the biggest involvement.
The objective of this presentation is to enrich Italy's filmography by introducing all the Italians artists known to date who significantly influenced the foundation of Colombia's national cinema. Currently, Camilo is conducting research on Colombian silent cinema for his Ph. Ancora oggi, l'attenzione su questa presunta dicotomia rimane non priva di discussioni.
We intend migration primarily as the movement of people across national borders, as it is represented in film and media, but also the movement of performers, directors, and scripts across different movie industries. Moreover, the maternal bodies represented on the screen interacted with off-screen images of the divas circulating on the magazines of the time, often represented within domestic and family environments, which contribute to define the social meaning of the stars as "mediated texts" and to narrate specific iconographies of the maternal.
Drawing upon the interdisciplinary theoretical basis of stardom studies and gender studies, this paper seeks to historicize specific discourses on female divismo and transnational motherhood in postwar Italian and Hollywood cinema. She has written widely on film genres and gender representation is postwar Italian cinema and is the author of Ercole, il divo AIEP, She was also co-editor of Italian Motherhood on Screen Palgrave, with Giovanna Faleschini-Lerner and is currently working on motherhood and media representantions. I argue that these encounters not only illustrate the role played by Italian cinema within current migration discourses in Italy and Europe, but also help us reflect on the posts Southern Italian folk music and dance revival as a promoter of social change through grassroots and locally-engaged efforts.
Indeed, the current Southern Italian folk music and dance revival has encouraged a re-thinking of Southern Italian identity from a postcolonial perspective and as part of a larger, Mediterranean identity. Originally from Benin, Ibi had started recording her life in Italy through photography and videography, which allowed her to share her experience of displacement with her children and her mother in Africa, where--as an undocumented immigrant--she could not hope to return without risking permanent deportation. Photography was also her business--she worked as a wedding and event photographer and videographer within the African communities of Castel Volturno, as well as for the Cultural Center where the Movement for Migrants and Refugees of Caserta met.
When she died in , Segre decided to tell her story through her images, thus producing the first film almost entirely based on visual self-narration by a migrant woman. This paper analyzes both the film techniques and strategies that Segre adopts to integrate archival materials, photos, and other footage and create an innovative and original filmic narration that moves away from more traditional realist—and often objectifying—narratives of female migration.
She is currently at work on a book-length project on the Italian cinema of migration. Access to the Internet and social media has been a necessary condition for this growth. What has that role been? The topic is controversial: should the media give a platform to the ultra-right and, if so, how? Or should they ignore it, thus taking the chance of reinforcing the accusation of being elitist and aloof?
My research addresses this on-going debate by presenting a comparative and historical analysis of media coverage in the United Kingdom and Italy. It implements quantitative measurements of content analysis as well as qualitative methodologies for in-depth investigation. In she won a prestigious Marie S. Curie Experienced Fellowship to study ultra-right media and communication at the University of Loughborough, with a Secondment at the Scuola Normale Superiore of Florence. Her publications have appeared on numerous international peer-reviewed journals such as The International Journal of Communication , The Journal of Language and Politics , Discourse and Communication , Television and New Media , among others.
This presentation will discuss the role of digital technologies in promoting and marketing the Made in Italy as well as in contrasting the widespread phenomenon of counterfeiting of Italian food known as Italian sounding, which refers to the marketing of food and beverages produced worldwide and labeled with Italian names and misleading words and images. Patrizia La Trecchia received her Ph.
Her research includes film, media, globalization, migration, citizenship, the Italian South, digital food culture, ecocinema, sustainable food movement, food security, and food waste. She is a TED speaker on food waste. Although metoo was born in the United States, women in different places were met with different socio-political responses. Her decision to leave added another layer to the public debate, bringing in the question of migration. Recent allegations of Argento sexually abusing a younger actor further complicate things.
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Beginning with Argento and moving to a broader socio-cultural analysis, this paper will look at how the metoo conversation has been deployed in the Italian context, and the uneasy way feminist and nationalist discourses overlap. Her research and publications focus on questions of gender, race, migration, textuality and social activism. She is a co-founder of the Asterisk taskforce for inclusive pedagogy, and a translator of fiction and journalism; recent pieces include works by Italian authors Dacia Maraini and Laila Wadia, as well as English-language articles about gender and politics in the United States.
She is currently translating a text on digital technology and gender, and co-editing a volume on queer Italian media. Risale a questo periodo la fondazione di Camera Woman con altre compagne. Inoltre, con la Kitchenfilm ho aperto dal il filone della distribuzione, ennesima sfida al mercato agonizzante con piccoli gioielli pluripremiati. Allieva di Vattimo e Rondolino, ha approcciato il tema del cinema sperimentale antenato del docu-fiction attraverso le analisi di Bachtin e Genette. This quality, already pronounced in Corpo celeste , grows exponentially in Le Meraviglie and particularly in Lazzaro felice , where the border between social drama and magical realism becomes blurred, turning the films young protagonists into messianic, redemptive figures, thereby making them symbols of moral resistance.
Her research focuses on the relationship between religion and film, Italian cinema, American cinema, films reception and practices of censorship. Since , she has been acting as peer reviewer for the Journal of Religion and Film and Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture.
She has collaborated with the British Film Institute and the Barbican introducing screenings of the work of Italian directors. It seems too convenient. My dialectic is no more ternary but binary. There are only irreconcilable positions. There can be no existence without contradiction, no action without dialectical conflict. There is no synthesis, no self-consciousness, no moving beyond the dialectical opposition because the position is irreconcilable.
His work centers on the relationship between avant garde film and video and mass culture. Davi Pessoa C. This new subject was also a patriotic piece: Verdi had taken to heart the admonitions of the poet Giuseppe Giusti , who had pleaded with him after Macbeth and after Milan's political turmoil of March and its aftermath to "do what you can to nourish the [sorrow of the Italian people], to strengthen it, and direct it to its goal".
Attempting to get a new libretto underway, Verdi approached Francesco Maria Piave , found him engaged as a soldier for the new Venetian republic, and so contacted Cammarano in Naples with the idea of L'assedio. But, as it turned out, Cammarano had to tell Verdi that the Naples censors rejected the outline of a subject which had interested Verdi very much since the time he prepared his previous opera, La battaglia di Legnano.
Divas and Scholars: Performing Italian Opera
Verdi's biographer Julian Budden notes that "next to Re Lear King Lear , this was to be the most fascinating of Verdi unrealized subjects" and his biographer, and Mary Jane Phillips-Matz , adds that she regards L'assedio di Firenze as "one of Verdi's most important uncomposed works. Cammarano advised the composer to avoid a story which had any sort of revolutionary tinge, and he came back with an idea which Verdi himself had once proposed in for adapting Schiller's Kabale und Liebe when he was recovering from his illness and in the company of Andrea Maffei who was writing the libretto for I masnadieri.
Verdi's reply to Cammarano on 17 May outlines some of his concerns; these revolved around the shift of some elements especially in act 2 and the addition of a duet for Walter and Wurm. As Budden notes, "the only one of these points on which Verdi got his way was the new duet" because the librettist raised various objections regarding the conditions at the San Carlo and various others , but Budden emphasizes the "spirit of give and take" which prevailed through their relationship. One example regarded the ending of act 1 where Verdi emphasized that there should no stretta , and the librettist agreed provided that "the act did not end in slow tempo but should quicken towards an animated finish.
Having moved the action to a Tyrolean village in the 17th century from a princely court in the 18th and having shifted the characters away from their princely intrigues which preoccupied Schiller , Cammarano moves the focus much more toward the "Liebe" Love and away from the "Kabale" Intrigue aspects of the play. With the idea of Luisa Miller agreed upon, from Paris Verdi approached the Naples management, trying to obtain a delay or, at least, to allow the new opera to be presented in his absence. It was from Busseto that Verdi then began work on the score of this opera, having received the libretto from Cammarano on 13 August.
In October he left for Naples, accompanied by Antonio Barezzi, whom he continued to refer to as his "father-in-law". When music writer Charles Osborne describes the libretto as "inadequate as an adaptation of Schiller's excellent play [but] Cammarano's Luisa Miller is, in its own right, a very fine libretto",  he continues by comparing it with Cammarano's previous libretto for La battaglia di Legnano , which contrasts:.
Baldini makes a similar point when he comments in his book The Story of Giuseppe Verdi that the opera "is in every sense a bourgeois tragedy [and] it feeds on the extraordinary fascination we have for everyday violent crimes. Nothing so far written by Verdi comes close to the concept of realism"  and he also comments on the essentially "private" nature of the opera; before Luisa , "something had always been raging, striving beyond the limits of private interests," .
The premiere, on 8 December , was well received, although for Verdi, the experience of dealing with the authorities at the San Carlo Opera in Naples caused him to vow never to produce another opera there. While not as popular as the most often performed of Verdi's works such as Rigoletto , La Traviata or Aida , Luisa Miller is fairly often seen on the stages of the world's opera houses. The Met has revived the work numerous times since then. In , productions were seen in three German cities including Berlin, Stuttgart, and Munich, as well as Malmo in Sweden.
The San Francisco Opera opened their 93rd season in September by performing the opera. On Luisa's birthday, the villagers have gathered outside her house to serenade her. Luisa's father, Miller, is worried by this mysterious love since Carlo is a stranger. As the villagers leave to enter the nearby church, Miller is approached by a courtier, Wurm, who is in love with Luisa and wishes to marry her.
My suspicion was correct". Wurm informs the Count of Rodolfo's love for Luisa and is ordered to summon the son. When Rodolfo enters, the Count tells him that it is intended that he marry Walter's niece Federica, the Duchess of Ostheim. When Rodolfo is left alone with Federica, he confesses that he loves another woman, hoping that the duchess will understand. But Federica is too much in love with him to understand Duet: Deh! Miller tells his daughter who Rodolfo really is. Rodolfo arrives and admits his deception but swears that his love is sincere.
These chronologies, generally trustworthy with respect to titles, authors, theaters, and dates of performances, are less dependable for information not regularly available in printed librettos—most crucially, composers' names. Indeed, Ivanovich, particularly for the years preceding his arrival in Venice in , tended to attribute music rather haphazardly especially to Cavalli.
Many of his attributions, repeated by Bonlini and Groppo, have remained unexamined, unchallenged, and uncorrected until recently. Another still insufficiently acknowledged shortcoming of all three volumes is their failure to recognize the inconsistent application of dates in the librettos they catalogued. That is, they ignored the whole problem of more veneto , dating Venetian style.
Because the Venetian year traditionally began on I March, Carnival and the opera season coincident with it , generally over by the end of February, was considered to belong to the previous year. Thus a libretto dated m. But not all Venetian dates were given more veneto. This is made clear in some cases by a discrepancy between title page and dedication date; the libretto of Cavalli's Giasone , for example, bears the date on its. Cristoforo Iwanovich. Antonio Groppo, Catalogo di tutti i drammi per musica Venice: Groppo, , referred to all three of his predecessors, Al-lacci, Ivanovich, and Bonlini, but without criticizing them preface, IV, .
Clearly, then, the date on the title page should be read in modern style, that of the dedication more veneto ; the work was performed during the season, not that of . Other cases are not so clear and can be resolved only through triangulation, using evidence external to the librettos themselves. In contrast to the librettos, whose preservation is virtually complete, the proportion of surviving scores is small. In particular, very few scores remain from the first—and, arguably, the most decisive—decade of operatic activity in Venice. Of the nearly fifty operas performed there between and , music has survived for only thirteen, and by only three of the dozen or so composers known to have been involved: Monteverdi, Cavalli, and Sacrati.
Through various circumstances, a number of the surviving scores were dispersed among libraries throughout Europe—including those in Modena, Florence, Naples, Oxford, Paris, and Vienna. Most of them duplicate scores held in the primary repository for this music, the Contarini Collection of the Biblioteca Marciana in Venice. According to Ivanovich, three operas by Monteverdi were performed in Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria S. Giovanni e Paolo , and Arianna S. Bonlini, who tried to take more veneto into account by introducing what he called the autumn season for those operas that began before the first of January but continued to be performed until the end of Carnival , revised Ivano-vich's chronology, ascribing Arianna to , Il ritorno and Le nozze to , and Poppea to autumn In fact, however, the coordination of various kinds of evidence permits a still more reasonable chronology, the one assumed on p.
Arianna and Ritorno were performed in ; Le nozze and Ritorno revived in the preface to the scenario of Le nozze mentions Il ritorno as having taken place the previous year ; and Poppea in scenario dated In the present study, all dates are given in modern style unless otherwise indicated. Lorenzo Bianconi and Thomas Walker, Drammaturgia musicale veneta 1 [in press]. Near the end of his career, probably about , Cavalli apparently arranged to have his operas recopied with a view to preserving them for posterity.
The other collezionista responsible for the preservation of the scores was Marco Contarini himself, patrician and patron of opera, who built two theaters for private operatic performances at his villa at Piazzola, just northwest of Venice. Between and sometime before his death in —probably in —Contarini gradually and purposefully amassed a collection of scores. Indeed, we should regard the entire Contarini Collection, fair copies as well as autographs figs. Imperfect and incomplete as the musical sources may be, they far exceed those for the visual component of these operas.
For an idea of what the works. On the copying of Cavalli's manuscripts, see Glover, Cavalli , The matter is exhaustively treated in Jeffery, "Autograph Manuscripts," passim. The document is transcribed in Taddeo Wiel, "Francesco Cavalli 16O e la sua musica scenica," Nuovo archivio veneto , n. Cavalli's library must also have included the Contarini copy of Poppea , which shows evidence of his hand see Jeffery, "Autograph Manuscripts," Osthoff's suggestion that Cavalli directed the Naples revival of Poppea "Neue Beobachtungen," has not been substantiated.
The presence of his hand and some of his music in the manuscript merely indicates that he was involved in some way with the version of the opera that was eventually performed in Naples. Biblioteca di San Marco in Venezia Venice, ; repr. Bologna: Forni, Some clue to the order in which Contarini acquired the manuscript scores is provided by a handwritten list of operas found on the inside cover of a printed volume of Frescobaldi keyboard toccatas now in the Biblioteca Marciana I-Vnm Musica According to that list, dated 14 June , which includes none of the Cavalli autographs, most of the scores were acquired in and , and a few in The list also includes a number of works not in the present Contarini Collection.
See Glover, Cavalli , The most complete discussion of the development of the Contarini Collection, including a list of its contents, is found in Giovanni Morelli and Thomas Walker, "Migliori plettri," preface to Aurelio Aureli and Francesco Lucio, Medoro , ed. Beyond the primary source materials—the librettos and the scores—other kinds of documents bearing on the history and development of opera in seventeenth-century Venice are preserved in various archives. The most substantial and important are two large buste in the Archivio di Stato, Venice, known by students of the period as and His papers, which cover earlier years as well, include a wide variety of documents: from correspondence with agents, singers, and composers Cesti, Cavalli, and Ziani to contracts and theater budgets.
Collectively, they supply the basis for a richly detailed history of opera during the period of his activity. Other notable and more recently discovered Venetian archival sources include two buste of Cavalli documents from the Archivio S. Lorenzo  and one from the Monastero di Sta. The duke was an important political ally, sup-. Marco, buste and , henceforth cited as b. They were first mentioned in by Bartolomeo Cecchetti, "Carte relative ai teatri di S. Cassiano e dei SS.
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Giovanni e Paolo," Archivio veneto 34 : See also Wiel, "Francesco Cavalli," n. Lorenzo, buste 23 and These are discussed in Glover, Cavalli , ch. I, as well as elsewhere. Lorenzo archive. These documents contain important information on Cavalli at S. Maria Teresa Muraro Florence, , A particularly rich source of operatic gossip is provided by the letters of the duke's secretary in Venice, Francesco Maria Massi.
Travelers to Venice, who formed an important component of the operatic audience, were occasionally stimulated to comment on the operatic scene in their letters or diaries. Few as they are, these comments shed considerable light on the place of opera in the life of the city. Several series of manuscript avvisi from the late seventeenth century have been preserved, in which information about opera is part of the detailed description of everyday Venetian events.
All of these sources, taken together, allow us to assemble a history of opera in Venice. The most fundamental of them, however, are the printed librettos. In regularly supplying dates and names—of patrons, theaters, librettists, sometimes of composers, singers, and stage designers—as well as the actual texts that were sung, they provide the foundation of that history. But they provide much more.
Their prefaces and dedications are rich in information. Their form and. XVII," , I and 2. Guignard, These descriptions are quoted extensively in Harris Sheridan Saunders, Jr. Harvard University, , ch. The earliest surviving sources of this kind reporting on opera in Venice date from the early s; they appeared in Il rimino , a newssheet published in Rimini that was a compilation of avvisi from various cities. Carefully read on and between the lines and considered in their entirety—from their actual poetic content form, subject matter, and organization to the layout of their title pages, from the publishers' and authors' prefaces to the dramatis personae and last-minute addenda—they offer a precise record of public opera at the most important period of its development, just as it was taking shape.
It is against the facts and running commentary provided by the librettos that all the other sources, including the music, yield their full historical meaning. The subtitle under which they were usually published, Dramma per musica , expresses quite effectively, even eloquently, the ambiguous nature of the libretto as a genre. Alone, these little books were but shadows, texts needing music and staging to endow them with life. Never intended to stand on their own, they were admittedly, glaringly, and self-consciously incomplete. Evaluation of their quality could not rest on their merits as literature or drama—the elegance of their poetry, the tautness of their plot structure, the verisimilitude of their action.
Librettos had to be judged by the efficacy of the musical setting they inspired, the dramatic conviction of the combination: libretto plus music, a combination that, ideally, would exceed by far the simple sum of its parts. Although every writer of librettos was aware of the extent to which the definition of his work depended on another artist's efforts, that awareness was not always shared by literary critics. Lacking appropriate instruments for evaluation, they often tried to judge librettos by purely literary standards, without considering them in the proper context, that of the opera house.
The issue was most urgent for the earliest and most sensitive of these critics, those who had the most to lose—or gain: the librettists themselves, the inventors or creators of the genre. Critical abuse began as critical self-abuse. Claudio Madricardo and Franco Rossi Florence, , These critics lacked appropriate categories for judging theatrical works. See also Lorenzo Bianconi, "Il cinquecento e il seicento," in Teatro, musica, tradizione dei classici , Letteratura italiana 6 Turin, , It is worth noting that dramma per musica did not suggest itself immediately as a designation for operatic texts.
It emerged only after librettists had wrestled for some time with the question of defining just what it was they were producing; and it developed not in the occasional operas produced during the first decades of the century in Florence and Rome, but later, in Venice, where the operatic experience was constant and intense.
Ottavio Rinuccini's first two operatic texts, the mythical dramas Dafne and Euridice , bear no generic subtitle at all, while his third libretto, Arianna , is labeled a tragedia ; Striggio's Orfeo is called a favola in musica ; and in Rome librettos were variously referred to as dramma musicale, commedia musicale, opera musicale , or attione in musica. One notable feature of this list is that only a few of the terms allude to the absent, yet central, ingredient, the music; the others imply self-sufficiency and could have been—and were—applied to any kind of dramatic work.
The familiar and curiously neutral term opera appears in several of these subtitles. Originally applied to every category of written or improvised play, it became associated with a particular kind that was neither tragic nor comic but mixed features of both. Plays set in exotic lands, featuring royal or princely protagonists and eventful plots with happy endings, were called opere regie or opere reali. Busenello's L'incoronazione di Poppea , for example, was termed an opera regia. Although opera occasionally appeared unmodified in conjunction with some early librettos, it did not assume its modern significance until much later.
It was not until the middle of the seventeenth century, then, after more than a decade of vigorous operatic activity—more than thirty operas by some twenty librettists and ten composers, in five theaters—that Venetian librettists began to designate their works dramma per musica with any consistency, thus signifying.
He attaches considerable importance to the designation tragedia for Arianna , regarding that opera as the first real attempt to recreate tragedy in music. Its two predecessors, the favole Dafne and Euridice , represented, in contrast, "the brief pastoral phase of opera" "Mon-teverdi and the Problems of Opera," Essays , Barbara Russano Hanning, however, prefers to regard all three of Rinuccini's librettos as manifestations of the same impulse toward tragedy.
Opera in Seventeenth-Century Venice
The librettos, which were not printed as a rule, merely use the term dramma. Pirrotta, " Corn-media dell'arte and Opera," Essays , and nn. An early use of opera , unmodified, appears in the scenario of Le nozze di Teti e di Peleo by Orazio Persiani in a descriptive passage. Although it may seem like a matter of mere semantics, the terminological consensus thus reflected on the title pages of printed librettos actually represented a significant step in the history of the art. It was one of many indications that opera had aesthetically come of age, that it had achieved the status of a genre in its own right.
Lack of agreement on the question of categorizing subtitles was only one symptom of the malaise that appears to have afflicted most early Venetian librettists. The librettos offer many other indications of their authors' uneasiness with opera as a genre, of their concern with the propriety of mixing music and drama. Early prefaces and notes to the reader are filled with librettists' explanations and excuses, with justifications and defenses of their work. These writings enable us to witness, through their parental eyes, the birth pangs of dramma per musica.
The self-defense erected by the librettists to express their existential discomfort was two-pronged and paradoxical. On the one hand, they energetically justified the new genre; on the other, they repeatedly denied the seriousness of their commitment to it. Neither moral qualms nor aristocratic nonchalance, however, kept them from swelling the torrent of activity.
Preoccupied with finding forebears to legitimize their bastard art, librettists turned up ancestors in every period, from classical antiquity to the day before yesterday. Among ancient authors called for the defense, the most frequently cited was, of course, Aristotle, bolstered by various others—including Homer, Virgil, Aristarchus, Lucan, Horace, Plutarch, Diodorus, Cicero, Strabo, Lucretius, Terence, and Seneca. Often they simply cited authorities rhetorically, as a preemptive strategy, in order to emphasize their purposeful departure from them. But they also invoked precedents from the past to justify various aspects of their works.
In their search for precedents and their reinterpretation of the past for their own purposes, our librettists differed little from sixteenth-century authors. On the influence of Spanish drama on members of the intellectual community of seventeenth-century Venice, see Benedetto Croce, "Appunti sui costumi e letteratura spagnuola in Italia," in Nuovi saggi sulla letteratura italiana del seicento Bari, , , and Antonio Belloni, Storia letteraria d'Italia: Il seicento Milan, , Their shared approach to libretto-writing, in particular their attitude toward authority as a source of justifying precedent, can be traced to a common background.
Almost without exception, the librettists of the s traveled in the same intellectual and social circles. They were Venetian aristocrats, and they belonged to the Accademia degli Incogniti, the successor, in a sense, to the large number of Venetian academies that had sponsored theatrical entertainments since the middle of the sixteenth century.
Aside from personal contacts, the group wielded its influence through the publications of its members, most of them prodigious writers—of novels, moral essays, and religious tracts, as well as opera librettos. In fact, as we shall see in the next chapters, the Incogniti were much involved in the whole phenomenon of opera in Venice, not only as authors but as founders and managers of the most successful opera theater of the s, the Novissimo, which flourished from to The commanding role of these literary patricians guaranteed the close connection between politics and early opera in Venice, a connection fundamental to the establishment and success of the genre on the lagoon.
The basic philosophy of the academy derived from the teachings of the Peripatetic Cesare Cremonini, professor of philosophy at the University of Padua, with whom many of the members had studied. Cremonini was notorious for his strict interpretations of Aristotle and his heterodox religious views—he was brought before the Inquisition several times. He inculcated in his students the necessity of questioning accepted dogma, and he forcefully promoted Aristotelian arguments against belief in God as creator and provider.
Skeptical of the immortality of the soul, he preached the importance of the here. These names are given in Le glorie degli Incogniti overo gli huomini illustri dell'Accademia de' Signori Incogniti Venice: Valvasense, , which contains articles on members of the academy, each of them including a bibliography as well as a portrait. The group was obviously much larger, but Giovanni Battista Fusconi, the secretary of the academy, who signed the dedication of the volume, explained that to include all of the members would be "un voler restringere la grandezza dell'oceano in un sol flume.
Such teaching set the intellectual and moral tone for our librettists, who had the opportunity of discussing the implications of their studies with Cremonini as well as many other matters at the meetings of their academy. Those meetings were usually organized as debates. The topics ranged from philosophical exchanges on such profound issues as the relationship or not between body and soul to the perhaps somewhat less serious question of the relative power of tears and song in promoting love. The Incogniti defended, on principle, the validity of multiple points of view, multiple interpretations.
Equivocation and ambivalence were fundamental to their stand on all matters; they were taught to question every proposition, to see the other side of every issue. The motto of the academy symbolized these aims: Ignoto Deo. Their operatic involvements were not always overt either. While some of them affixed their own names to their librettos, others hid behind academic aliases or anonymity.
Giacomo Badoaro, for example, left unsigned the letter to Monteverdi that prefaces Il ritorno d'Ulisse , and his authorship of the libretto itself is only revealed four years later in the preface to another libretto, Ulisse errante —or half revealed by his academic title "Assicurato Academico Incognito. These attitudes—the heavy emphasis on Aristotle, the training in debate, and the appreciation of equivocation promoted by the academy—strongly conditioned the impact of the Incogniti writers on the development of opera.
Florence, , ; also Rosand, "Barbara Strozzi," ; id. For Cremonini's actual participation in the theatrical life of Venice, see ch. This motto was depicted iconographically in one of the Incognito publications as a globe on which a river representing the Nile is shown with its source veiled because it was unknown; see Rosand, "Barbara Strozzi," and n. It gave them the opportunity to exercise their forensic skills, as illustrated by the variety of defenses and definitions they erected: classical precedent, the inconsistencies inherent in the ancient rules, their limited applicability to the present—all of these were marshaled in defense of their efforts.
They wrote librettos that claimed to be tragedies in order to flaunt both their classical education, their knowledge of "the rules," and their iconoclastic tendencies, their commitment to the moment, their respect for modern taste. The issue most crucial to them, to which they directed most of their defensive energies, involved the propriety of sung drama. This, of course, had been central to the Florentine theorists of opera half a century earlier, who had sought to defuse it in two somewhat contradictory ways: by the adoption of a musical style that was uninflected enough to pass for speech and by a choice of plots in which musical speech was appropriate.
This double strategy is clearly articulated by the anonymous author of a Florentine treatise on opera from about , Il corago :. To begin with characters or interlocutors that musical setting seems to suit best, for secular plots the ancient deities such as Apollo, Thetis, Neptune and other respected gods seem very appropriate, as do demigods and ancient heroes, among whom one might especially list rivers and lakes, and especially those most famous among the Muses, such as Peneus, the Tiber, and the Trasimenus, and above all those personages whom we consider to have been perfect musicians, such as Orpheus, Amphion, and the like.
The reason for all this is that since each listener knows all too well that at least in the more familiar parts of the earth ordinary men do not speak in music, but plainly, speaking in music is more consonant with one's conception of superhuman characters than with the notion and experience one has of ordinary men; because, given that musical discourse is more elevated, more authoritative, sweeter, and more noble than ordinary speech, one attributes it to characters who, through a certain innate feeling, have more of a sublime or divine quality.
The Florentine solutions, however, did not satisfy the requirements of Venetian librettists. They evidently did not regard the Florentine operas—assuming they even knew them—as sufficiently authoritative to justify their own activities. In any case, it was the Venetians' need to establish a pedigree for sung drama that provoked their interest in ancient theatrical practices. It was an interest that was to be shared by most subsequent theoreticians or critics of opera, including Metastasio. Their ad hoc investigative procedure involved several steps: first, to establish that music had functioned in various ways in classical drama; then, to demonstrate the relationship of their works to classical drama, by pointing out either similarities or differences.
Similarities naturally justified themselves, but differences required further differentiation of the source material. They could. In considering the function of music in ancient drama, the Incogniti librettists, very much in the tradition of sixteenth-century literary critics, rehearsed all the possibilities: that ancient drama was sung throughout, that only the choruses were sung, that none of it was sung. Their conclusion was always the same: regardless of ancient practice, the requirements of modern taste alone were sufficient to justify dramma per musica. Few librettists were as confident and succinct—and as circuitous—on the matter as Vincenzo Nolfi in the preface to his Bellerofonte He readily accepted the classical precedent of sung drama as the least controversial feature of his activity, declaring axiomatically that his was "a kind of poem that has returned to the original nature of drama as far as singing is concerned.
But then, in another twist, he went on to defend the idea of novelty and change of taste on the very basis of the precedent he had previously. He cites Seneca the dramatist to justify his rejection of modern taste embodied in his choice of five acts rather than three: "If the acts are five and not three, remember that all ancient dramas, and particularly the tragedies of Seneca, are divided into five acts" Appendix I. But Seneca the man justifies the opposite attitude toward modern taste— acceptance: "It is necessary to satisfy modern taste to some extent, always keeping in mind the praise that Tacitus bestowed on Seneca, that is, that he had an imagination made to order for the taste of his times" Appendix I.
See Rosand, "Seneca," Jonathan Barnes [Princeton, ], Grout , ed. William W. Austin Ithaca, N. If the various Cratinuses, Aristophanes, and Terences were alive today, they too might change their ideas" Appendix I. Pietro Paolo Bissari, more specific in his classical citations and more expansive and circumstantial in his discussion as well as more consistent , prefaced his Torilda with a lengthy disquisition on classical drama.
His aim was to show that every aspect of his libretto—machines, gods, dances, frequent changes of scene, infusion of comic elements, and even the placement of the orchestra in the theater—was based on classical precedent. Musical setting was second on his list, following frequent scene changes: "Nor would it be at variance with that practice for drama to be staged with music, since it is known that Phrynicus was elected Captain for this reason, that he had his tragedies sung with melodies and musical art that were modes appropriate for battle" Appendix I.
Bissari, who was more anxious than most of his colleagues to establish the continuity between ancient drama and his own work, concluded his essay on an unusually positive note by suggesting that "in all of these works the ancient institutions seem revived rather than interrupted" Appendix I. Most writers, however, took a more tentative and circumspect stance, clothing their defenses in more theoretical garb.
He opened his defense by distinguishing between two types of tragedy, "di lieto fine" and "d'esito lugubre" "called tragichissima by Aristotle" , and then offered the usual explanation, modern taste, for having chosen the former type for his libretto:. In order to accommodate myself to current taste, I have chosen a tragedy with a happy ending, rather than otherwise.
Considering in addition that since it is to be sung, and not simply recited, such a tragedy seemed more appropriate: although not because I am certain that in ancient times melancholy tragedies were not also sung, or at least the choral part; but it is certain that such a practice was gradually abandoned, to the point where, even in "happy" tragedies, music had become an external, merely ornamental feature. Another was Giulio Strozzi's La finta savia Le nozze d'Enea was long assumed to be the work of Giacomo Badoaro, an assumption questioned and tentatively dismissed in Walker, "Errori," , and Anna Sweykowska, "Le due poetiche venete e le ultime opere di Claudio Monteverdi," Quadrivium 18 : Somewhat later in the letter, the author returned, again obliquely, to the issue of the function of music in ancient drama.
He explained his substitution of ballets for "classical" choruses between the acts of his work on the grounds that sung choruses only had an effect when the rest of the drama was not sung i. Even those librettists who were unwilling to admit that music had played any part at all in early classical drama found a way to link their works with the past. Giacomo Badoaro, for example, to judge from his preface to Ulisse errante , considered the complete musical performance of a drama to be very far from ancient practice.
But he exploited the lack of consistency among ancient playwrights on other issues, such as the appropriate number of characters in a drama or the necessity of a prologue, to justify a wide variety of modern practices. The author who perhaps more clearly than any other articulated the Incognito librettists' attitude toward classical sources, and the one who certainly presented them most cynically, was Gian Francesco Busenello, Monteverdi's collaborator in L'incoronazione di Poppea. Giovanni e Paolo, written upon the presentation of his drama Statira , Busenello aired the entire controversy about the correct performance of ancient tragedy, systematically undermining the relevance of each of the issues in the debate.
In general he discouraged the use of ancient precedent as a standard for measuring modern efforts. Since his poetry was designed to be sung, he argued, ancient poetic models should not be applied to it, the assumption being that ancient poetry was not sung Appendix I. But, he continued, like the skilled polemicist he was, "even if we allow that the poems of the ancient Greeks were sung, as some maintain, and that Homer himself was both the poet and composer of his own songs, that music was different from ours" Appendix I.
Finally he deflated the significance of the whole investigation of ancient practice, refusing "to be the judge of whether it was the ancients or the moderns who brought musical plays into the theater" Appendix I. These early Venetian librettists' preoccupation with the genre of their works was not unambivalent. For at the same time as they defended their combination of music and drama either on the grounds of classical precedent or as a response to the demands of modern taste, they also blamed a variety of defects in their librettos, such as lapses in decorum, form, or style, on the special exigencies of music.
These shortcomings, they claimed, were the inevitable result of combining two incompatible artistic media. The question of how music and drama must modify each other when they are combined is, of course, the central aesthetic issue of opera, and it is to these librettists that we owe the first and most articulate airing of the issue.
Their need to justify opera, because it was new, prompted them to expose and attempt to resolve the inconsistencies, imperfections, and compromises inherent in it. Concern with this issue abated after some years of operatic experience, but it never completely disappeared. Music served as scapegoat for a variety of literary offenses: for inelegant language, mixed meters, varied characters, and so on. The implication, of course, was that it might otherwise be considered thoroughly inferior: "And if its poetry is not filled with aphorisms and witticisms, it cannot on that account be called either cold or lacking in spirit.
I have maintained a high style, and with diversity of meters and propriety of language have sought to stimulate the imagination of the composer" Appendix I. The anonymous author of Le nozze d'Enea also cited music as a blanket excuse for all sorts of lapses in his poetry, in particular his use of varied meters to distinguish between high and low characters:.
And so to adapt to the characters, and to the emotions that they are to express, I have made use of a number of different meters; that is to say, I have given versi sdruccioli to people of low condition, and versi brevi and tronchi to choleric types, though knowing well that the better Tuscan tragedians used only lines of seven, eleven, and occasionally five syllables. Nevertheless, given that the ancient Greeks and Romans, in addition to the lamb, also used trimeter, tetrameter, and other meters in their tragedies, I do not see why [such variety] is prohibited to us, at least in the case of six- and eight-syllable lines.
And besides, musical tragedies are entitled to a freedom not enjoyed by those that are merely spoken. The same justification served for his mixture of characters—in particular, his introduction of comic characters within a serious plot:. I have made use of this fellow [Numano, called "the Strong" by Virgil] as a comic character, since I could not find in the author anyone more suitable [for such a role], and because I knew the disposition of many theatergoers, who prefer jokes like this to serious things as we see that Iro of our friend was a marvelous success.
But re-. For Busenello, writing for music required the abandonment of poetic elegance and classical poetic forms. In the preface to Starira , he acknowledged the low style of his poetry; more ambitious literary embellishment, he implied, was not suitable for musical drama:. I would have been more eloquent in writing this play, and would have concentrated my faculties to elevate the style somewhat, if the brevity and conventions required by the [musical] stage had allowed it.
It is one thing to compose an ode or a sonnet, in which enthusiasm is permitted to thought, and ecstasy to the imagination in exciting the ears with sweet stimuli and the heart with a sensual sparkle, by contriving a soothing and ingenious conclusion; it is another thing to compose a play, in which the characters are under constraints, and use common speech, and if the tone becomes too elevated it loses its seemliness and decorum. And in the letter on Starira already mentioned, he explained that he had tried to follow the style of the best Italian authors instead of ancient writers in his "elocutions.
But the impact of music on drama went far beyond mere inelegance and infelicities imposed on its poetry; it thoroughly undermined its verisimilitude. It was difficult for any audience to believe that singing was speech. What sparked all of these librettists' preoccupation with the genre, their attempts to justify the combination of music and drama, either through classical precedent or modern taste, was their discomfort with the question of verisimilitude.
This issue underlies all their defenses, although it is actually mentioned only rarely. One of the few authors to do so was Giacomo Badoaro, in the preface to Ulisse errante