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Opera in seventeenth-century Venice : the creation of a genre

Ellen Rosand shows how opera, born of courtly entertainment, took root in the special social and economic environment of seventeenth-century Venice and there developed the stylistic and aesthetic characteristics we recognize as opera today. With ninety-one music examples, most of them complete pieces nowhere else in print, and enlivened by twenty-eight illustrations, this landmark study will be essential for all students of opera, amateur and professional, and for students of European cultural history in general. Because opera was new in the seventeenth century, the composers (most notably Monteverdi and Cavalli), librettists, impresarios, singers, and designers were especially aware of dealing with aesthetic issues as they worked. Rosand examines critically for the first time the voluminous literary and musical documentation left by the Venetian makers of opera. She determines how these pioneers viewed their art and explains the mechanics of the proliferation of opera, within only four decades, to stages across Europe. Rosand isolates two features of particular importance to this proliferation: the emergence of conventions--musical, dramatic, practical--that facilitated replication and the acute self-consciousness of the creators who, in their scores, librettos, letters, and other documents, have left us a running commentary on the origins of a genre [Publisher description]
eBook, English, ©1991
University of California Press, Berkeley, Calif., ©1991
Electronic books
1 online resource (xxii, 684 pages) : illustrations
9780520934566, 9780585283289, 9780520068087, 0520934563, 0585283281, 0520068084
Far recitare un'opera a Venezia : origins and sources. Venetian foundations ; Monteverdi in the wings ; Orfeo and Poppea ; The documents of a history
Dramma per musica : the question of genre. The Accademia degli Incogniti ; Music and drama ; Dramatic structure : the unities ; Division into acts ; Chorus ; Modern taste and ethics ; Subject matter
Da rappresentare in musica : the rise of commercial opera. The beginning of competition ; The scenario and the libretto ; The teatro novissimo
La finta pazza : mirror of an audience
All'immortalità del nome di Venetia : the serenissima on stage. The myth of Venice ; The reality of Venice
La nausea di chi ascolta : the consequences of success. Making histories ; Giovanni Faustini, "librettist" ; Faustini's heirs ; Marco Faustini, impresario ; Marco's guerra dei teatri
I compositori scenici : librettist and composer. Collaborative talents ; Librettists' tribulations ; Composers' obligations
I più canori cigni e le suavissime sirene : the singers. The wages of singing ; The prima donna ; Primi uomini ed altre ; Singing and/or acting
Gran dicerie e canzonette : recitative and aria. The Florentine background ; Venetian conservatism ; Monteverdi and his collaborators ; Busenello and Cavalli ; Cavalli and Faustini ; Cavalli and Cicognini ; Cicognini's legacy
Il diletto : aria, drama, and the emergence of formal conventions. The bipartite aria ; Tripartite forms
Le convenienze teatrali : the conventions of dramma per musica. The comic aria ; The trumpet aria ; The music scene ; The love duet ; Sleep ; Invocation ; Madness
Il lamento : the fusion of music and drama. The recitative model ; The strophic lament ; The descending tetrachord : an emblem of lament ; The lament aria : variations on a theme
Il ritorno d'Orfeo : the decline of a tradition. Il volgo tumultuario ; In defense of decorum ; Ivanovich's history and criticism ; Tradition and revival
Appendix I : Librettos
Appendix II : Treatises, critical and historical accounts
Appendix III : Correspondence and documents
"A Centennial book"--Page iii