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From Madrigal to OperaMonteverdi's Staging of the Self$
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Mauro Calcagno

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780520267688

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520267688.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 23 October 2019

The Possibility of Opera

The Possibility of Opera

Chapter:
(p.238) 7 The Possibility of Opera
Source:
From Madrigal to Opera
Author(s):

Mauro Calcagno

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520267688.003.0008

The singers' use of pure voice as empty, nonverbal sounding music is traced back to the aesthetics of Marino. It enables singers to shift the audience's perspective toward the narrative power of music per se, as well as toward themselves. Today, the opera director, by locating and moving the singers within the performance space, becomes yet another agent in the chain of appropriations inaugurated by the Petrarchist poets and the madrigalists; and in filmed productions, the video director becomes the last link of this chain. In the highly relativistic world of Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea, characters such as Otho and the two soldiers provide a perspective on, respectively, Poppea and Seneca. Thanks to the focalizing effect generated by these characters, but also depending on the choices of opera or video directors, the audience perceives the events of the opera in a particular way, absorbing a worldview conveyed by the performance and mediating it with its own.

Keywords:   opera, madrigal, Baroque music, Claudio Monteverdi, Giambattista Marino, music in Venice, performance studies, media studies, narrative studies, Italian studies, subjectivity, self

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