Opera in Seventeenth-century Venice: The Creation of a Genre (Google eBook)

Front Cover
University of California Press, 1991 - Music - 684 pages
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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.
  

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Contents

Gran dicerie e canzonette Recitative and Aria
245
Venetian Conservatism
248
Monteverdi and His Collaborators
250
Busenello and Cavalli
256
Cavalli and Faustini
260
Cavalli and Cicognini
267
Cicogninis Legacy
275
Il diletto Aria Drama and the Emergence of Formal Conventions
281

The Unities
45
Division into Acts
52
Chorus
54
Modern Taste and Ethics
56
Subject Matter
59
Da rappresentare in musica The Rise of Commercial Opera
66
The Beginning of Competition
77
The Scenario and the Libretto
81
The Teatro Novissimo
88
La finta pazza Mirror of an Audience
110
Allimmortalita del nome di Venetia The Serenissima on Stage
125
The Myth of Venice
126
The Reality of Venice
143
La nausea di chi ascolta The Consequences of Success
154
Making Histories
155
Giovanni Faustini Librettist
169
Faustinis Heirs
175
Marco Faustini Impresario
181
Marcos Guerra dei teatri
184
I compositori scenici Librettist and Composer
198
Collaborative Talents
199
Librettists Tribulations
204
Composers Obligations
209
I piu canori cigni e le suavissime sirene The Singers
221
The Wages of Singing
222
The Prima Donna
227
Primi uomini ed altre
237
Singing andor Acting
243
The Bipartite Aria
285
Tripartite Forms
295
Le convenienze teatrali The Conventions of Dramma per musica
322
The Comic Aria
325
The Trumpet Aria
329
The Music Scene
333
The Love Duet
335
Sleep
338
Invocation
342
Madness
346
Il lamento The Fusion of Music and Drama
361
The Recitative Model
362
The Strophic Lament
367
An Emblem of Lament
369
Variations on a Theme
377
Il ritorno dOrfeo The Decline of a Tradition
387
Il volgo tumultuario
391
In Defense of Decorum
395
Ivanovichs History and Criticism
399
Tradition and Revival
401
Librettos
407
Treatises Critical and Historical Accounts
428
Correspondence and Documents
435
Bibliography
447
Musical Examples
461
Index
673
Copyright

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Page 9 - This night, having with my Lord Bruce taken our places before we went to the Opera, where comedies and other plays are represented in recitative music, by the most excellent musicians, vocal and instrumental, with variety of scenes painted and contrived with no less art of perspective, and machines for flying in the air, and other wonderful notions; taken together, it is one of the most magnificent and expensive diversions the wit of man can invent.
Page xxi - I have also been greatly assisted by grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Folger Shakespeare Library.
Page 9 - ... variety of scenes painted and contrived with no less art of perspective, and machines for flying in the air, and other wonderful motions ; taken together, it is one of the most magnificent and expensive diversions the wit of man can invent. The history was, Hercules in Lydia; the scenes changed thirteen times.

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About the author (1991)

Ellen Rosand is George A. Saden Professor of Music at Yale and author of "Opera in Seventeenth Century Venice: The Creation of a Genre" (UC Press, 1991, 2007).

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