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Not Without Madness: Perspectives on Opera


Not Without Madness: Perspectives on Opera Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Opera often seems to arouse either irrational enthusiasm or visceral dislike. Such madness, as Goethe wrote, is indispensable in all theater, and yet in practice, sentiment and passion must be balanced by sense and reason. Exploring this tension between madness and reason, Not without Madness presents new analytical approaches to thinking about eighteenth- and nineteenth-century opera through the lenses of its historical and cultural contexts.
In these twelve essays, Fabrizio Della Seta explores the concept of opera as a dramatic event and an essential moment in the history of theater. Examining the meaning of opera and the devices that produce and transmit this meaning, he looks at the complex verbal, musical, and scenic mechanisms in parts of La sonnambula, Ernani, Aida, Le nozze di Figaro, Macbeth, and Il trovatore. He argues that approaches to the study of opera must address performance, interpretation, composition, reception, and cultural ramifications. Purely musical analysis does not make sense unless we take into account musicandrsquo;s dramatic function. Containing many essays available for the first time in English, Not without Madness bridges recent divisions in opera studies and will attract musicologists, musicians, and opera lovers alike.

About the Author

Fabrizio Della Seta is professor of music history and musical philology in the Facoltandagrave; di Musicologia at the University of Pavia in Cremona, Italy.
Mark Weir is lecturer in English and English translation at the University of Naples, Landrsquo;Orientale.

Table of Contents



Note on Terminology


Part One: Theory and Analysis

1. Emotion and Action: On the Theory of Italian Opera

2. Ernani: The and#8220;Carlo Quintoand#8221; Act

3. and#8220;O cieli azzurriand#8221;: Exoticism and Dramatic Discourse in Aida

4. What and#8220;Happensand#8221; in the Act 2 Finale of Le nozze di Figaro?

5. The Death of King Duncan: From Shakespeare to Verdi, via the French Revolution

6. and#8220;Dand#8217;amor sulland#8217;ali roseeand#8221;: Analyzing Melody and the Creative Process

Part Two: History and Criticism

7. Some Difficulties in the Historiography of Italian Opera

8. Verdi: The Italian Tradition and the European Experience

9. Meyerbeer in Nineteenth-Century Italian Criticism and the Idea of and#8220;Musical Dramaand#8221;

10. Alberto Mazzucato and the Beginnings of Italian Verdi Criticism

11. Parola scenica in Verdi and His Critics

12. Gabriele Baldini on Verdi: A Theory of Opera




Product Details

Della Seta, Fabrizio
University of Chicago Press
Weir, Mark
Seta, Fabrizio Della
History & Criticism *
Music | Opera
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
37 line drawings, 8 tables
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Music » General
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Opera
Arts and Entertainment » Music » History and Criticism
History and Social Science » World History » European History General
History and Social Science » World History » General
History and Social Science » World History » Italy

Not Without Madness: Perspectives on Opera New Hardcover
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Product details 320 pages University of Chicago Press - English 9780226749143 Reviews:
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