ABOUT THIS BOOK
The History of Italian Opera marks the first time a team of expert scholars has worked together to investigate the Italian operatic tradition in its entirety, rather than limiting its focus to individual eras or 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-resulting in the sort of panoramic view critical to a deep and fruitful understanding of the art.
Opera on Stage, the second book of this multi-volume work to be published in English-in an expanded and updated version-focuses on staging and viewing Italian opera, from the court spectacles of the late sixteenth century to modern-day commercial productions. Mercedes Viale Ferrero describes the history of theater and stage design, detailing the evolution of the art well into the twentieth century. Gerardo Guccini does the same for stage and opera direction and the development of the director's role as an autonomous creative force. Kathleen Kuzmick Hansell discusses the interrelationships between theatrical ballet and Italian opera, from the age of Venetian opera to the early twentieth century. The visual emphasis of all three contributions is supplemented by over one hundred illustrations, and because much of this material-on the more "spectacular" visual aspects of Italian opera-has never before appeared in English, Opera on Stage will be welcomed by scholars and opera enthusiasts alike.