First published in 1991. At once poet, dramatist, adaptor and translator, the operatic librettist in turn expresses and mocks social convention. Deirdre O'Grady's study of the Italian operatic librettist identifies opera as a mirror of literary climates, popular taste and political aspirations. The Last Troubadours traces the history of the Italian libretto from its courtly origin in the 16th century, through the crisis of the aristocracy and the 19th-century struggle for national unity, to the birth of social realism. Fundamental elements of Italian opera - heroic valour, cunning servants, revolutionary ardour and romantic tenderness - are considered in their historical and cultural context. Also discussed are famous lyrical and musical collaborations - of Da Ponte and Mozart, Solera and Verdi, Romani and Bellini, and Boito and Verdi.
List of Illustrations; Introduction; Acknowledgements; Part One: Baroque, Arcadian and Enlightenment Influences; 1. Aristocratic Beginnings in Florence, Mantua and Rome 2. Popular Success and Maturity in Venice: Busenello, Badoaro and Cicognini 3. Innovation and Reform: Zeno, Metastasio and Calzabigi 4. Of Servants and Masters: Federico, Goldoni and Da Ponte; Part Two: The Expression of Individualism; 5. A Cry for Freedom: High Priests and Patriots 6. Of Reason and Delirium 7. Jester, Troubadour and Courtesan 8. The Devil’s Advocate: Evil in the Works of Arrigo Boito; Notes; Select Bibliography; Index
This set of 11 volumes, originally published between 1946 and 2001, amalgamates a wide breadth of research on Art and Culture in the Nineteenth Century, including studies on photography, theatre, opera, and music. This collection of books from some of the leading scholars in the field provides a comprehensive overview of the subject how it has evolved over time, and will be of particular interest to students of art and cultural history.