Theses Doctoral

Staging the Operas of Francesco Cavalli: Dramaturgy in Performance, 1651-1652

Eggert, Andrew

This dissertation examines four operas created by the composer Franceso Cavalli and the librettist Giovanni Faustini at the Teatro Sant'Apollinare in Venice in 1651-1652 with regard to the relationship between musical dramaturgy and stage performance. All four operas--L'Oristeo, La Rosinda, La Calisto, and L'Eritrea--are preserved in manuscript scores that are part of the Contarini Collection in the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana. Annotations in these sources document the complex process of rehearsing at the Sant'Apollinare and the ways that multiple considerations of production (including vocal casting, staging, and scenography) interacted with the evolving musico-dramatic structure. Several of these operas were revived later in the seventeenth century in new theatrical circumstances: L'Oristeo was revived as L'Oristeo travestito in Bologna in 1656; La Rosinda was reworked and presented under the title Le magie amorose in Naples in 1653; and L'Eritrea received multiple productions (including a Venetian revival at the Teatro San Salvatore in 1661). These case studies provide a fuller view of the relationship between Venetian opera aesthetics and the exigencies of performance on the seventeenth-century stage. Modifications to the original dramaturgy--such as inserted arias and sinfonie, added secondary comic characters, and cuts to recitative--were made with careful regard to the scenography of each production. This analysis demonstrates the critical importance of stagecraft in the interpretation of this repertoire both historically and in modern edition and performance.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Gerbino, Giuseppe
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
July 7, 2014