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Landscape and Gender in Italian Opera

Landscape and Gender in Italian Opera
The Alpine Virgin from Bellini to Puccini

$139.00 (C)

Part of Cambridge Studies in Opera

  • Date Published: September 2005
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521834377

$ 139.00 (C)
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About the Authors
  • In this unusual study, Emanuele Senici explores the connection between landscape and gender in Italian opera through the emblematic figure of the Alpine virgin. In the nineteenth century, operas portraying an emphatically virginal heroine, a woman defined by her virginity, were often set in the mountains, most frequently the Alps. The clarity of the sky, the whiteness of the snow and the purity of the air were associated with the 'innocence' of the female protagonist. Senici discusses a number of works particularly relevant to the origins, transformations and meanings of this conventional association including Bellini's La sonnambula (1831), Donizetti's Linda di Chamounix (1842), Verdi's Luisa Miller (1849), and Puccini's La fanciulla del West (1910). This convention presents an unusual point of view - a theme rather than a composer, a librettist, a singer or a genre - from which to observe Italian opera 'at work' over a century.

    • Innovative approach to nineteenth-century Italian opera
    • Interdisciplinary
    • Broadly cultural rather than narrowly musical perspective
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Whether one ultimately agrees with the interpretations offered in this book seems less important than following the author through his rich web of literary, philosophical, psychological, political, and feminist contextualization. A review cannot recreate the experience, but it can encourage readers to venture into the web and undertake their own journey. Although this may on occasion be strenuous, it will also be thought-provoking, sophisticated, and engaging." --Andreas Giger, Journal of the American Musicological Society

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2005
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521834377
    • length: 368 pages
    • dimensions: 234 x 164 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.71kg
    • contains: 15 b/w illus. 26 music examples
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    List of musical examples
    Acknowledgments
    1. Virgins, mountains, opera
    2. 'At the foot of the Alps': The landscape of La sonnambula
    3. Linda di Chamounix and the ideology of chastity
    4. The politics of genre in Luisa Miller
    5. Deflowering the Alps: from I promessi sposi to La Wally and Fedora
    6. La fanciulla del West: a new landscape for a new virgin
    Notes
    Index.

  • Author

    Emanuele Senici, University of Oxford
    Emanuele Senici is University Lecturer in Music at the University of Oxford, where he is a Fellow of St Hugh's College. In 2002 he was awarded the Jerome Roche Prize of the Royal Musical Association. He has edited The Cambridge Companion to Rossini (2004) and co-edits the Cambridge Opera Journal.

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