• Medientyp: E-Artikel
  • Titel: Pimmalione: Rousseau and the Melodramatisation of Italian Opera
  • Beteiligte: LOCKHART, ELLEN
  • Quelle: Cambridge Opera Journal ; 26 ( 2014 ) S. 1-39
  • Erschienen: Cambridge University Press, 2014
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISSN: 0954-5867; 1474-0621
  • Zusammenfassung: <p>This article traces the Italian reception of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Horace Coignet's Pygmalion (1770), ultimately arguing that the influence of early melodrama (and not the better-remembered Viennese reform) was behind the emergence of a style of speech-like singing and gestural mirroring in Italian opera in the decades immediately around 1800. Rousseauian melodrama was one of a few related projects subsuming the spoken word within the domain of music during the 1770s and 1780s; another was Joshua Steele's Prosodia rationalis, which proposed a system of modified music notation in order to preserve and transmit the spoken word. This article suggests (contra most recent historians of melodrama) that such projects were inflected by a kind of twilight classicism, in which the revived object was made to show signs of decay. The revivalist strain in the first melodrama was particularly important for its Italian reception. Rousseau's ideal of an ancient, onomatopoeic language collapsing meaning and medium was naturalised into the rhetoric of Italian opera reform during the 1770s and 1780s by the Jesuit theorists Antonio Eximeno and Stefano Arteaga. By way of a coda, this article traces the emergence of a 'melodramatic' style of Italian opera, first in all-sung adaptations of Pygmalion, thence into Venetian opera of the 1790s more broadly, and finally into Donizetti's techniques of gestural mirroring and what was called the 'canto filosofico' of Bellini's early operas.</p>
  • Beschreibung: <p>This article traces the Italian reception of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Horace Coignet's Pygmalion (1770), ultimately arguing that the influence of early melodrama (and not the better-remembered Viennese reform) was behind the emergence of a style of speech-like singing and gestural mirroring in Italian opera in the decades immediately around 1800. Rousseauian melodrama was one of a few related projects subsuming the spoken word within the domain of music during the 1770s and 1780s; another was Joshua Steele's Prosodia rationalis, which proposed a system of modified music notation in order to preserve and transmit the spoken word. This article suggests (contra most recent historians of melodrama) that such projects were inflected by a kind of twilight classicism, in which the revived object was made to show signs of decay. The revivalist strain in the first melodrama was particularly important for its Italian reception. Rousseau's ideal of an ancient, onomatopoeic language collapsing meaning and medium was naturalised into the rhetoric of Italian opera reform during the 1770s and 1780s by the Jesuit theorists Antonio Eximeno and Stefano Arteaga. By way of a coda, this article traces the emergence of a 'melodramatic' style of Italian opera, first in all-sung adaptations of Pygmalion, thence into Venetian opera of the 1790s more broadly, and finally into Donizetti's techniques of gestural mirroring and what was called the 'canto filosofico' of Bellini's early operas.</p>