1st Edition

The Grand Theater of the World Music, Space, and the Performance of Identity in Early Modern Rome

Edited By Valeria De Lucca, Christine Jeanneret Copyright 2019
    264 Pages
    by Routledge

    264 Pages 26 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Music and space in the early modern world shaped each other in profound ways, and this is particularly apparent when considering Rome, a city that defined itself as the "grande teatro del mondo". The aim of this book is to consider music and space as fundamental elements in the performance of identity in early modern Rome. Rome’s unique milieu, as defined by spiritual and political power, as well as diplomacy and competition between aristocratic families, offers an exceptionally wide array of musical spaces and practices to be explored from an interdisciplinary perspective.

    Space is viewed as the theatrical backdrop against which to study a variety of musical practices in their functions as signifiers of social and political meanings. The editors wish to go beyond the traditional distinction between music theatrical spectacles – namely opera – and other musical genres and practices to offer a more comprehensive perspective on the ways in which not only dramatic, but also instrumental music and even the sounds of voices and objects in the streets relied on the theatrical dimension of space for their effectiveness in conveying social and political messages. While most chapters deal with musical performances, some focus on specific aspects of the Roman soundscape, or are even intentionally "silent", dealing with visual arts and architecture in their performative and theatrical aspects. The latter offer a perspective that creates a visual counterpoint to the ways in which music and sound shaped space.

    Part 1 The Spaces of Music in Rome 1. Valeria De Lucca and Christine Jeanneret: Exploring the Soundscape of Early Modern Rome through Uberti’s Contrasto musico Part 2 Palaces and Theatres 2. Tracy Ehrlich: Drawing as a Performative Act: Carlo Marchionni at the Villa Albani, Rome 3. Barbara Nestola: Gesture and Acting in Roman Opera at the End of the Seventeenth Century Part 3 Devotional Spaces 4. Eric Bianchi: Was Man Made For the Sabbath? Sight, Space, and Identity in Jesuits’ Musical Life 5. Peter Gillgren, Theatricality in the Sistine Chapel 6. Huub van der Linden: Blinding Light and Gloomy Darkness: Illumination, Spectatorship, and the Oratorio in Baroque Rome Part 4 Streets and Squares 7. Brice Gruet: Sound and Sensorial Landscape: Early Modern Rome as a Full Urban Experience 8. Dinko Fabris: "Comprando la Maraviglia con l’Impossibilità" The Role of Music in the Space of a Torneo: An Unknown Score of I Furori di Venere (Bologna, 1639) Part 5 Villas and Gardens 9. Anne-Madeleine Goulet: Cultural Life at Villa Lante di Bagnaia (1683-1696): Family, Gardens, and Sociability 10. Giulia Romano Veneziano: The "Teatro delle acque": Music and Spectacle at Villa Aldobrandini during the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries Part 6 Crossing boundaries 11. Michela Berti: Inside and Outside a National Church: Music, Ceremonies, and Nationality in Early Modern Rome 12. Colleen Reardon: From the Villa to the Public Theatre: The Chigi and "Roman" Opera in Siena


    Valeria De Lucca is a Lecturer in Music at the University of Southampton. Her interests include music patronage during the seventeenth century, early modern women, the circulation of music in early modern Europe, systems of opera production between court and public theatres, and the visual aspects of the operatic spectacle.

    Christine Jeanneret is HM Queen Margrethe II’s Distinguished Fellow of the Carlsberg Foundation and works between the Museum of National History at Frederiksborg Castle and the Centre de Recherche du Château de Versailles. Her research focuses on early modern music, with a particular interest for performance and staging, the body on stage, cultural exchanges and gender studies.