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The Sounds of Paris in Verdi's La traviata

$108.00 (C)

Part of Cambridge Studies in Opera

  • Date Published: June 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107009011

$ 108.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • How did Paris and its musical landscape influence Verdi's La traviata? In this book, Emilio Sala re-examines La traviata in the cultural context of the French capital in the mid-nineteenth century. Verdi arrived in Paris in 1847 and stayed for almost two years: there, he began his relationship with Giuseppina Strepponi and assiduously attended performances at the popular theatres, whose plays made frequent use of incidental music to intensify emotion and render certain dramatic moments memorable to the audience. It is in one of these popular theatres that Verdi witnessed one of the first performances of Dumas fils' La Dame aux camélias, which became hugely successful in 1852. Making use of primary source material, including unpublished musical works, journal articles and rare documents and images, Sala's close examination of the incidental music of La Dame aux camélias – and its musical context – offers an invaluable interpretation of La traviata's modernity.

    • Investigates Verdi's La traviata in the musical context of mid-nineteenth-century Paris, in which it was both conceived and set
    • Shows the relationship between the musical environment of 1830s to 1850s Paris and Verdian dramaturgy - readers are encouraged to understand opera in a broad cultural context
    • Includes primary source material, which provides readers with information about musical, visual and literary archival primary sources vital for further research
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'An intriguing and well-written work of musical detection, [excellently] translated.' Classical Music

    'Sala’s methodology draws on both ethnomusicology and musicology in his endeavours to consider the ‘contextualization of the text’ as much as the ‘textualization of the context’. In this finely controlled and often intriguing analysis, he undoubtedly succeeds in demonstrating La traviata not just as a product of Verdi’s imagination, but as a subtle refashioning of the sounds of Paris itself in the 1840s and 1850s.' Susan Rutherford, Music and Letters

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2013
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107009011
    • length: 224 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.48kg
    • contains: 16 b/w illus. 40 music examples
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Verdi and the Parisian 'boulevard' theatre
    2. Images and sounds in waltz (and polka) time
    3. Motifs of reminiscence and musical dramaturgy

  • Author

    Emilio Sala, University of Milan
    Emilio Sala is Associate Professor of Musical Dramaturgy at the University of Milan. His research focuses on the musical dramaturgy of opera, melodrama and film music and his publications include L'opera senza canto. Il mélo romantico e l'invenzione della colonna sonora (1995) and Il valzer delle camelie. Echi di Parigi nella Traviata (2008). He has published articles and reviews in the Cambridge Opera Journal, Opera Quarterly, the Revue de musicologie, Orages, R. H. L. F., Saggiatore musicale, Musica/Realtà, Musicalia, Musica e storia and elsewhere.

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