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Opera Production and Its Resources

Standing at the forefront of historiographical research, The History of Italian Opera marks the first time a multidisciplinary team of scholars has worked together to investigate the entire Italian operatic tradition, rather than limiting the focus to 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.

Opera Production and Its Resources traces the social, economic, and artistic history of the production of opera from its origins around 1600 to contemporary stagings. From the very beginning, opera has been a chronically deficit-producing enterprise. Yet it maintained unchallenged preeminence in the culture of all Italians for centuries. The first half explores the central role of theater impresarios in putting on these complex productions and in increasing the output of librettos and scores. The second half considers the roles of the three key figures in the creation of any opera: the librettist, the composer, and the singer.

460 pages | 18 color plates, 31 halftones, 6 tables | 6 x 9 | © 1998

The History of Italian Opera, Part II: Systems

Music: General Music

Table of Contents

List of illustrations
List of Abbreviations
1. Opera Production to 1780
Franco Piperno
1. Court Operatic Spectacles
2. Court Opera and Commercial Opera
3. Traveling Companies: The Cooperative, Organized Diffusion of Commercial Opera
4. Impresarial Operas: Ends and Means; the Single Impresario and Impresarial Associations
5. The Impresario and the Theater Public
6. Municipal Opera Houses and Collective Management in the Eighteenth Century
7. Ballet and Its Mechanisms of Production
8. The Production and Diffusion of Opera Seria
9. The Production and Diffusion of Intermezzi and Comic Opera
Bibliographic Note
2. Opera Production, 1780-1880
John Rosselli
1. Opera as the Expression of a Hierarchical and Conservative Society
2. The Economic Vicissitudes of the Opera Industry
3. The Strong Arm of Authority
4. The Profession of the Impresario
5. The Labor Market
6. The Impresario and the Public
Bibliographic Note
3. Opera Production from Italian Unification to the Present
Fiamma Nicolodi
1. Opera in the New Italy: Municipal Theaters and Impresarial Management
2. The Role of Singers, Joint Stock Companies, and Publishers
3. The Giolitti Era: From the Politeama to the First Ente Autonomo
4. The Fascist Regime: Tradition and Transformation
5. The New Republic: Reconstruction and the "Consumer Society"
6. The Corona Act and the Current Situation
Bibliographic Note
4. The Librettist
Fabrizio Della Seta
1. A Problem of Conscience
2. The Seventeenth Century
3. The Eighteenth Century
4. The Nineteenth Century
5. From the Nineteenth Century to the Twentieth Century
Bibliographic Note
5. The Opera Composer
Elvidio Surian
1. Social Background
2. Schooling, Professional Training, Apprenticeship
3. Entry into the Production System, Career, Opera Production
4. The Creative Process: Work Methods and Schedules
6. The Opera Singer
Sergio Durante
1. The Court Singer Mounts the Theatrical Machine
2. Church, Theater, and School
3. From Modema to Bologna: Criticism and Growth
4. The Virtuosi: Background, Training, Itineraries, Specialties
5. An Italian "School": Images and Economic Conditions
6. Bel Canto: The Market and the Myth
7. The Voice Mirrored
Bibliographic Note
Index of Names
Index of Operas and Ballets
Index of Theatrical Venues

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