Opera and Sovereignty: Transforming Myths in Eighteenth-Century Italy (Google eBook)
Performed throughout Europe during the 1700s, Italian heroic opera, or opera seria, was the century’s most significant musical art form, profoundly engaging such figures as Handel, Haydn, and Mozart. Opera and Sovereignty is the first book to address this genre as cultural history, arguing that eighteenth-century opera seria must be understood in light of the period’s social and political upheavals.
Taking an anthropological approach to European music that’s as bold as it is unusual, Martha Feldman traces Italian opera’s shift from a mythical assertion of sovereignty, with its festive forms and rituals, to a dramatic vehicle that increasingly questioned absolute ideals. She situates these transformations against the backdrop of eighteenth-century Italian culture to show how opera seria both reflected and affected the struggles of rulers to maintain sovereignty in the face of a growing public sphere. In so doing, Feldman explains why the form had such great international success and how audience experiences of the period differed from ours today. Ambitiously interdisciplinary, Opera and Sovereignty will appeal not only to scholars of music and anthropology, but also to those interested in theater, dance, and the history of the Enlightenment.
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absolutist Adriano Algarotti Antonio Arbace Archivio aria Artabano Artaserse audience ballets Biblioteca boxes Burney cadenzas Carnival castrato century chap cicisbei cicisbeo cittadini composer court cuccagna dal segno Didone abbandonata dramma per musica ducal eighteenth eighteenth-century example Farinelli Fedra Fenice festivity ﬁg ﬁgure ﬁlza ﬁnal ﬁnally ﬁnd ﬁrst ﬁve French genre Giacomo Rust Giovanni Giuseppe Heartz I-PEc Ippolito ed Aricia Italy king king’s libertà libretto listeners magical Mariotti Metastasio Mitridate monarch moral morte Mozart myth Naples nature Niccolò Jommelli nobles obbligato ofﬁcial opera house opera seria Parma passions Pavone performance Perugia Pietro political popolo recitative reform ritornello ritual Roman Rome royal sacriﬁce San Carlo scene score singers singing social Sograﬁ solo sovereign sovereignty speciﬁc spectacle spectators stage stanza symbolic Teatro Civico Teatro La Fenice Teatro San Teatro San Carlo Temistocle theater theatrical tion Tommaso Traetta Traetta tutto Venetian Venice vocal Vonima