Opera and the Accademia degli Incogniti
This chapter discusses the Venetian Accademia degli Incogniti, whose involvement in the opera industry has been well documented, and whose idiosyncratic philosophies about women and gender shaped opera's most basic conventions. The peculiar ideologies of the Accademia degli Incogniti were to become an integral part of opera's conventions, practically from its inception in Venice. A central feature of the Incogniti philosophical stance is their peculiar mixture of conservative patriotism and libertinismo. Giovanni Francesco Loredano is the shadowy figure behind nearly every publishing endeavor in Venice during the middle years of the seventeenth century. Arcangela Tarabotti presents a distinctive voice that defies categorization, fashioning herself variously in comic, tragic, and satirical modes. The role of women as a source of erotic pleasure is described. With La forza d'amore, Loredano shows the ways in which abstract Incogniti philosophies about women could manifest themselves in a dramatic form.
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