By Domenico Pietropaolo
The Thomas Fisher Library on the collage of Toronto homes a huge choice of opera and oratorio librettos linked to performances throughout Europe. as well as containing the textual content of musical dramas, those books include facets of historic aspect and literary background, in addition to biographical information of performers. The Baroque Libretto catalogues the Baroque Italian operas and oratorios within the Fisher Library and gives an research of the way the examine of libretto can tell the certainty of opera. the quantity additionally catalogues French and English goods from an analogous interval in appendices.
This entire dialogue attracts at the literary, musical, dramatic, and theatrical facets of every libretto whereas additionally contemplating its philosophical, ancient, social, and financial contexts. the result's a piece with attraction for these occupied with the operatic style and modern ecu culture.
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Additional resources for The Baroque Libretto: Italian Operas and Oratorios in the Thomas Fisher Library at the University of Toronto
53 Examination of the many Venetian librettos in our collection confirms that it was conventional to include balli at the ends of the first two acts, sometimes near the end in a tightly integrated fashion and sometimes after the completion of the act. In addition, some librettos mention balli at other points in the text. For example, in Cavalli and Minato’s Antioco (#24, 1658 at San Cassiano), the stage directions call for a dance in Act 2, scene 5 (in addition to the conventional act enders): in a jolly scene, including duets, a dance is performed by the two servants Nainana (Mora confidente d’Antioco) and Lisetto (Paggio di Corte).
But as it proceeds in its narration and explanation, the Testo can be heard enacting another story, in which he is the only active character. In this enacted story the Testo has the role of a fictional theologian imparting a lesson or delivering a sermon. 75 Il trionfo consists of one brief part, whereas La fede is divided into two. The narrative character Historia has a minor role in Il trionfo but a major one in La fede, which for that reason is much closer to the typical model, represented best in the Fisher collection by Alfonso Colombi’s La Maddalena pentita (#53, 1685) and Bernardino Rigotti’s La lega della bontà e della grazia (#55, 1686).
In Peri and Rinuccini’s Euridice (#2), the choruses of nymphs and shepherds dance to celebrate the wedding, and the work ends with a dance. Some of the dances in these early pastoral works are associated with sung numbers, and all are integrated with the dramatic action. 47 Over the next three decades, ballet continued to form a significant element in Florentine court celebrations. La regina Sant’Orsola (#6), variously described as a festa and a “sacred drama,”48 was Introduction 27 probably first performed on 6 October 1624, in honour of Archduke Charles of Austria.