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Look Inside Italian Opera

Italian Opera

$84.99 (C)

Part of National Traditions of Opera

  • Date Published: April 1994
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521466431

$ 84.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Italy was the birthplace of opera. In this authoritative and accessible account of Italian opera, David Kimbell introduces those who, over three hundred years, created not only a national tradition but the central tradition from which others have drawn their inspiration. He traces the history of Italian opera from its origins in the humanism of the Renaissance to Puccini in the early twentieth century, drawing attention not only to musical issues but also to the social, literary, and philosophical ideas that have shaped modern Italian civilization.

    • Discussion of key operas, their composers and librettists
    • First one-volume history of Italian opera in English
    • Consideration of the social, political and cultural context in which the operatic tradition developed
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "...Kimbell excels at shedding a sympathetic light on the repertory, especially in its earlier, less familiar stages, by examining works through the aesthetic viewpoint of each particular era." Notes

    "David Kimbell has wrestled his enormous topic coolly and efficiently to the mat and comes away with a fairly honorable victory." Opera News

    "David Kimbell's gift in keeping the thread of change in view while discussing the particular gift of composers Monteverdi, Cesti and Pergolesi, and the powerful influence of the poet Pietro Metastasio, enlivens the chapters on opera's early buoyancy. Also, Kimbell's essays on Cimarosa, Rossini, Donizetti, Bellini and Verdi give reasons for these composers' dominance." Daniel Webster, Philadelphia Inquirer

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 1994
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521466431
    • length: 704 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 39 mm
    • weight: 1.02kg
    • contains: 12 b/w illus. 1 map 130 music examples
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    A note on Italian prosody
    Introduction: the Italianness of Italian opera
    Part I. The Origins of Opera:
    1. The Renaissance intermedi
    2. The elements of early opera
    3. The beginnings of opera
    4. Monteverdi's Orfeo
    Part II. The Venetian Hegemony:
    5. Opera in seventeenth-century Rome
    6. Opera comes to Venice
    7. The nature of Venetian opera
    8. The development of the musical language
    9. Cesti's L'Orontea
    Part III. Opera Seria:
    10. The dramma per musica
    11. 'Perfection and public favour'
    12. The performance of opera seria
    13. The collapse of the Metastasian ideal
    14. Opera seria in an age of ferment
    15. A half-century of L'Olimpiade
    Part IV. The Tragedy of Comedy:
    16. The commedia dell'arte
    17. Contrascene and intermezzi
    18. The flowering of comic opera in Naples and Venice
    19. Apogee and decline
    20. Il barbiere di Siviglia: Paisiello's and Rossini's settings
    Part V. Romantic Opera:
    21. Italian Romanticism
    22. Dramatic themes: the libretto
    23. The life of the theatre
    24. The musical language of Italian Romantic opera
    25. Rossini in Naples
    26. A franker Romanticism
    27. The young Verdi
    28. Bellini's Norma
    Part VI. Cosmopolitanism and Decadence:
    29. Italian grand opera
    30. Scapigliati and bohemians
    31. Verdi and Boito
    32. Verismo

  • Author

    David R. B. Kimbell, University of Edinburgh

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