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Emblems of EloquenceOpera and Women's Voices in Seventeenth-Century Venice$
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Wendy Heller

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780520209336

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520209336.001.0001

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Bizzarrie Feminile

Bizzarrie Feminile

Opera and the Accademia degli Incogniti

(p.48) Chapter 2 Bizzarrie Feminile
Emblems of Eloquence

Wendy Heller

University of California Press

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.

Keywords:   opera, Accademia degli Incogniti, Giovanni Francesco Loredano, Arcangela Tarabotti, women, Venice, conservative patriotism, libertinismo

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