This collection of essays, presented by an internationally known team of scholars, explores the world of Vienna and the development of opera buffa in the second half of the eighteenth century. Although today Mozart remains one of the most well-known figures of the period, the era was filled with composers, librettists, writers and performers who created and developed opera buffa. Among the topics examined are the relationship of Viennese opera buffa to French theatre; Mozart and eighteenth-century comedy; gender, nature and bourgeois society on Mozart's buffa stage; as well as close analyses of key works such as Don Giovanni and Le nozze di Figaro.
• First book in the new opera series, Cambridge Studies in Opera • The first book in English dedicated to one of the most important aspects of opera history • Explores Mozart and his world: the musicians, performers, and the cultural and social climate • Contributors are a team of internationally known scholars
Notes on contributors; Acknowledgements; Introduction Mary Hunter and James Webster; Part I. Historical and Literary Contexts: 1. Goldoni, opera buffa, and Mozart's advent in Vienna Daniel Heartz; 2. Lo specchio francese: Viennese opera buffa and the legacy of French theatre Bruce Alan Brown; 3. Il re alla caccia and Le roi et le fermier: Italian and French treatments of class and gender Marvin Carlson; 4. Mozart and eighteenth-century comedy Paolo Gallarati; Part II. Social and Generic Meanings: 5. The sentimental muse of opera buffa Edmund J. Goehring; 6. The biology lessons of opera buffa: gender, nature, and Bourgeois society on Mozart's buffa stage Tia Denora; 7. Bourgeois values and Opera Buffa in 1780's Vienna Mary Hunter; 8. Opera seria? Opera buffa? Genre and style as sign Marita P. McLymonds; 9. Figaro as misogynist: on aria types and aria rhetoric Ronald J. Rabin; 10. The alternative endings of Mozart's Don Giovanni Michael F. Robinson; 11. Don Giovanni: recognition denied Jessica Waldoff; Part III. Analytical and Methodological Issues: 12. Analysis and dramaturgy: reflections towards a theory of Opera Sergio Durante; 13. Understanding opera buffa: analysis = interpretation James Webster; 14. Operatic ensembles and the problem of the Don Giovanni sextet John Platoff; 15. Buffo roles in Mozart's Vienna: tessitura and tonality as signs of characterization Julian Rushton; List of works cited; Index.
'… an enthralling collection of essays by a distinguished group of international scholars … will give any reader a deeper knowledge and understanding of Mozart's comic operas and of the genius who created them.' Scenaria