Introduction to part II

Thomas Ertman

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    The authors in this section on the whole take a different approach to those in Part I. In general terms, they are less concerned with how operas represent existing social realities than in how those realities themselves constrain the production and reproduction, and hence shape the character, of operatic works and the reception of those works by the public. Musicologist Franco Piperno does this in a way that builds upon the pioneering research of the Anglo-Italian historian John Rosselli and of the contributors (himself included) to the History of Italian Opera project edited by Lorenzo Bianconi and Giorgio Pestelli. In 1984, Rosselli published his pioneering The Opera Industry in Italy from Cimarosa to Verdi, in which he showed how independent businessmen (the impresarios), acting at the behest and under the supervision of theatre owners and municipal authorities, staged regular opera seasons built around new works in cities and towns across Italy from the 1780s through the 1850s. In his chapter “Opera Production to 1780” in volume iv of The History of Italian Opera, which appeared in Italian in 1987 and in English in 1998, Franco Piperno uncovered how the impresario-based system captured at its height by Rosselli had first emerged in the seventeenth century and how it operated during the eighteenth century. In his contribution here, Piperno takes this research further and shows that, despite the supposedly free-market character of the Italian opera industry, the peninsula's state governments played a central role both in the diffusion of musical theatre to the provinces and in the emergence of innovative sub-genres such as the sacred opera during the course of the 1700s.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationOpera and Society in Italy and France from Monteverdi to Bourdieu
    PublisherCambridge University Press
    Number of pages5
    ISBN (Electronic)9780511481734
    ISBN (Print)0521856752, 9780521856751
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2007

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Arts and Humanities


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