Cloth $80.00 ISBN: 9780226045917 Published July 2002


Opera on Stage

Edited by Lorenzo Bianconi and Giorgio Pestelli

Opera on Stage

Edited by Lorenzo Bianconi and Giorgio Pestelli

Translations from the Italian by Kate Singleton
432 pages | 180 halftones, 2 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2001
Cloth $80.00 ISBN: 9780226045917 Published July 2002
The History of Italian Opera marks the first time a team of expert scholars has worked together to investigate the Italian operatic tradition in its entirety, rather than limiting its focus to individual eras or 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-resulting in the sort of panoramic view critical to a deep and fruitful understanding of the art.

Opera on Stage, the second book of this multi-volume work to be published in English-in an expanded and updated version-focuses on staging and viewing Italian opera, from the court spectacles of the late sixteenth century to modern-day commercial productions. Mercedes Viale Ferrero describes the history of theater and stage design, detailing the evolution of the art well into the twentieth century. Gerardo Guccini does the same for stage and opera direction and the development of the director's role as an autonomous creative force. Kathleen Kuzmick Hansell discusses the interrelationships between theatrical ballet and Italian opera, from the age of Venetian opera to the early twentieth century. The visual emphasis of all three contributions is supplemented by over one hundred illustrations, and because much of this material-on the more "spectacular" visual aspects of Italian opera-has never before appeared in English, Opera on Stage will be welcomed by scholars and opera enthusiasts alike.
List of Illustrations
List of Abbreviations
I. Stage and Set
Mercedes Viale Ferrero

Theatrical Spaces and Designers
1. Space and the Set
2. Spaces and Opera Genres
3. Spaces and Their Appreciation
4. Spaces and Privilege
5. Spaces and Techniques
6. Designers and Their Audiences
7. Designers and Critics (Practice and Theory)
8. Designers and Practitioners
9. Originality and Convention
10. Iconographia Theatralis

11. The Birth of Opera
12. Single and Multiple Sets
13. The Great Dynasties of Opera Designers
14. The Staging of Three Exemplary Productions
15. Theatrical Architecture, Set Design, and Painting
16. Rome and Arcadia
17. Another Great Dynasty, the Bibienas: Sets and Theaters
18. Two Examples of Staging
19. Metastasiana
20. Travelers and Residents: Stage Designers and Theatrical Organizations
21. Three Productions and Their Sets
22. The New Theaters
23. Two Points to Bear in Mind
24. Revolution and Conservation
25. The Permanence of the Ephemeral
26. The Restoration: Innovation in Images and the Imaginary
27. Felice Romani's Production Books
28. Reflections on the Sets for Two Librettos by Felice Romani
29. Developments in Milan and Elsewhere
30. Verdi and the Early Production Books
31. Giuseppe Bertoja, Set Designer for Verdi (and Others)
32. More on Verdi
33. The Turn of the Century
34. Staging Puccini
35. New Experiences
36. The Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
Bibliographic Note

2. Directing Opera
Gerardo Guccini

Stage Direction in Italian Opera
1. From the Corago and the Maestro di Scene: Possible Variations and Significant Developments in the Baroque Theater
2. Clients and Impresarios
3. Pierro Metastasio and the Profession of the Theatrical Poet
4. The Treatise Writers and the Principle of Authority
5. Designing and Directing Repertory Opera Productions
6. The Stage Manager

Opera Direction in Italy
7. The Beginnings of Opera Direction in Italy
8. The Impact and Spread of Luchino Visconti's Work as an Opera Director
9. Zeffirelli, Strehler, and Ronconi: Three Different Approaches to Opera Direction
10. Operas and Direction
Bibliographic Note

3. Theatrical Ballet and Italian Opera
Kathleen Kuzmick Hansell

Ballet during the Age of Venetian Opera, 1640-1720
1. The Rise of Theatrical Dance: General Trends
2. Consolidation of Tendencies: Characteristic Features of Later Seventeenth-Century Stage Dance

Opera Seria, Dramma Giocoso, and the Challenge of Pantomime Ballet, 1720-1795
3. A Question of Entr'actes: Ballets during the Period of Vocal Intermezzi
4. 1740-1765: The Rise of Italian Pantomime Ballet
5. 1766-1776: A Decade of Debate and Questioning
6. The End of the Century: Italian Ballet Preeminent

Ballet and the Melodramma: Flower and Decline, 1796-1872
7. Pantomime Ballet at Its Zenith, 1796-1821: The Coreodramma
8. 1822-1849: The Ballo d'Azione in Its Last Flowering: The Encounter with Romantic Ballet and Grand Opera
9. 1850-1872: The Ballet Subsumed in the Opera
Epilogue: Fin de Siecle
Bibliographic Note
Index of Names
Index of Operas and Ballets
Index of Theatrical Venues
Review Quotes
Carol Ann Modesitt | Opera Journal
"[The book] contains a great deal of valuable informatin concerning Italian opera and its development, but its more technical and historical orientation would make it especially valuable for set desigbners, directors, and choreographers."
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