Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Seventeenth-Century Opera and the Sound of the Commedia Dell'Arte$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Emily Wilbourne

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226401577

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226401607.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 07 July 2022

The Serious Elements of Early Comic Opera

The Serious Elements of Early Comic Opera

(p.92) Chapter Three The Serious Elements of Early Comic Opera
Seventeenth-Century Opera and the Sound of the Commedia Dell'Arte

Emily Wilbourne

University of Chicago Press

This chapter considers two early comic operas: the libretto to Giovan Battista Andreini’s La Ferinda (1622) and Virgilio Mazzocchi and Marco Marazzoli’s L’Egisto ovvero Chi soffre speri (1637/9), which sets a libretto by Giulio Rospigliosi. Parallels between the serious characters of the two works demonstrate the way in which an overemphasis on the comic elements of the commedia tradition has concealed the roots of opera’s other roles. A shared repertoire of poetic and structural techniques reveals the extent to which commedia performances prefigured the sonic norms of operatic music. Most importantly, the clear delineation of the poetic text into recitative and aria—evident in both of these works—elucidates the importance of the commedia dell’arte theatre for the verisimilitude of dramatic song. The parallels between these two works demonstrate an astonishing reliance on commedia dell’arte practice in the development of operatic representational norms.

Keywords:   commedia dell’arte, opera, sound, Giovan Battista Andreini, La Ferinda, L’Egisto ovvero Chi soffre speri, Virgilio Mazzocchi, Marco Marazzoli, recitative, aria

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.