Opera in Seventeenth-Century Venice: The Creation of a Genre / Edition 1

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Overview


Ellen Rosand shows how opera, born of courtly entertainment, took root in the special social and economic environment of seventeenth-century Venice and there developed the stylistic and aesthetic characteristics we recognize as opera today. With ninety-one music examples, most of them complete pieces nowhere else in print, and enlivened by twenty-eight illustrations, this landmark study will be essential for all students of opera, amateur and professional, and for students of European cultural history in general.

Because opera was new in the seventeenth century, the composers (most notably Monteverdi and Cavalli), librettists, impresarios, singers, and designers were especially aware of dealing with aesthetic issues as they worked. Rosand examines critically for the first time the voluminous literary and musical documentation left by the Venetian makers of opera. She determines how these pioneers viewed their art and explains the mechanics of the proliferation of opera, within only four decades, to stages across Europe. Rosand isolates two features of particular importance to this proliferation: the emergence of conventions—musical, dramatic, practical—that facilitated replication; and the acute self-consciousness of the creators who, in their scores, librettos, letters, and other documents, have left us a running commentary on the origins of a genre.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Opera was new in the 17th century, and Venice provided the environment in which it was to develop and flourish. Rosand (music, Rutgers Univ.) builds on the work of previous scholars to explore the role Venice played during this era in the development of a fledgling artform. Her work is rich with information on the entire operatic scene. The conventions opera fans take for granted today, such as plot elements and prima donnas, were developed during this vital period. More than 200 pages of hard-to-find musical examples, along with illustrations reproduced from 17th - century materials found in Venetian libraries, provide ample rewards for music scholars. This fascinating analysis is recommended for in-depth opera history collections.-- James E. Ross, Seattle P.L.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520254268
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 10/9/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 710
  • Sales rank: 1,062,768
  • Product dimensions: 6.88 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.75 (d)

Meet the Author


Ellen Rosand is George A. Saden Professor of Music at Yale and author of Monteverdi’s Last Operas: A Venetian Trilogy
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