ABOUT THIS BOOK
Standing at the forefront of historiographical research, The History of Italian Opera marks the first time a multidisciplinary team of scholars has worked together to investigate the entire Italian operatic tradition, rather than limiting the focus to major composers and their masterworks. Including both musicologists and historians of other arts, the contributors approach opera not only as a distinctive musical genre but also as a form of extravagant theater and a complex social phenomenon.
Opera Production and Its Resources traces the social, economic, and artistic history of the production of opera from its origins around 1600 to contemporary stagings. From the very beginning, opera has been a chronically deficit-producing enterprise. Yet it maintained unchallenged preeminence in the culture of all Italians for centuries. The first half explores the central role of theater impresarios in putting on these complex productions and in increasing the output of librettos and scores. The second half considers the roles of the three key figures in the creation of any opera: the librettist, the composer, and the singer.