ABOUT THIS BOOK
The History of Italian Opera marks the first time a team of scholars has worked together to investigate the entire Italian operatic tradition, rather than limiting its 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.
This sixth volume in the series centers on the sociological and critical aspects of opera in Italy, considering the art in the context of an Italian literary and cultural canon rarely revealed in English and American studies. In its six chapters, contributors survey critics' changing attitudes toward opera over several centuries, trace the evolution of formal conventions among librettists, explore the historical relationships between opera and Italian literature, and examine opera's place in Italian popular and national culture. In perhaps the volume's most striking contribution, German scholar Carl Dahlouse offers his most important statement on the dramaturgy of opera.