Skip to content
Open global navigation

Cambridge University Press

AcademicLocation selectorSearch toggleMain navigation toggle
Register Sign in Wishlist

Italian Opera in the Age of the American Revolution

$103.00 (C)

Part of Cambridge Studies in Opera

  • Date Published: April 2011
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521897082

$103.00 (C)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Looking for an examination copy?

This title is not currently available for examination. However, if you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • How did revolutionary America appear to European audiences through their opera glasses? The operas studied in this volume are populated by gun-toting and slave-holding Quakers, handsome Native Americans, female middle-class political leaders, rebellious British soldiers and generous businessmen. Most of them display an unprecedented configuration of social and gender roles, which led leading composers of the time, including Mozart, Haydn, Anfossi, Piccinni and Paisiello, to introduce far-reaching innovations in the musical and dramatic fabric of Italian opera. Polzonetti presents a fresh perspective on the European cultural reception of American social and political identity. Through detailed but accessible analysis of music examples, including previously unpublished musical sources, the book documents and explains important transformations of opera at the time of Mozart's masterpieces, and its long-term consequences up to Puccini. Shedding new light on familiar and less-familiar operatic works, the study represents groundbreaking research in music, cultural and political history.

    • Provides new interpretations of Mozart and Haydn, showing a completely new perception of Mozart's and Haydn's world as a vibrant cultural environment open to global culture and radical ideas coming from America
    • Based on newly discovered evidence and drawing upon previously unpublished musical sources, the book will inspire further research on libretti and scores on which there is very little literature
    • Discusses some of the basic conventions of Italian opera, including stock roles, aria types and forms, and differences between seria and comic opera, showing how composers could break conventions to convey radical ideas
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    "This fascinating book answers the question posed by the author: “How did revolutionary America appear to European audiences through their opera glasses?” Polzonetti, writing in a totally engaging style, describes in great detail how 18th-century Italian opera portrayed the characters (both real and imagined) and the very character of a new and exotic country in which “Quakers have guns, slave-holders are remorseful and merciful, businessmen are generous, savages can be more civilized than savage European soldiers, women are strong and men are good-looking.” --Early Music America

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2011
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521897082
    • length: 396 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 160 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.77kg
    • contains: 4 b/w illus. 7 tables 50 music examples
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. The changing world of the moon
    2. Worlds up and upside down
    3. Montezuma and the exotic Europeans
    4. Cecchina goes to America
    5. A Californian goes to Europe
    6. Americans in the storm
    7. The good Quaker and his slaves
    8. Quakers with guns
    Epilogue: Figaro's transatlantic crossings.

  • Author

    Pierpaolo Polzonetti, University of Notre Dame, Indiana
    Pierpaolo Polzonetti is Assistant Professor at the University of Notre Dame. His first book on Giuseppe Tartini was awarded the International Prize for Musical Studies by the Petrassi Institute of Latina. His article on Mozart's Così fan tutte received the Einstein Award conferred by the American Musicological Society. Several of his scholarly articles on opera have appeared in Opera Quarterly, Eighteenth-Century Music, Study Verdani and the Cambridge Opera Journal. He is the co-editor, with Anthony R. DelDonna, of The Cambridge Companion to Eighteenth-Century Opera.

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website, your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

© Cambridge University Press 2014

Back to top

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.

Cancel Delete

Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.