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Sentimental Opera
Questions of Genre in the Age of Bourgeois Drama

$29.99 (C)

Part of Cambridge Studies in Opera

  • Date Published: March 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108461832

$ 29.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Sentimental Opera is a study of the relationship between opera and two major phenomena of eighteenth-century European culture - the cult of sensibility and the emergence of bourgeois drama. A thorough examination of social and cultural contexts helps to explain the success of operas such as Paisiello's Nina as well as the extreme emotional reactions of their audiences. Like their counterparts in drama, literature and painting, these works brought to the fore serious contemporary problems including the widespread execution of deserters, the treatment of the insane, and anxieties relative to social and familial roles. They also developed a specifically operatic version of the dominant language of sensibility. This wide-ranging study involves such major cultural figures as Goldoni, Diderot and Mozart, while refining our understanding of the theatrical genre system of their time.

    • Presents the first book-length treatment of the relationship between opera and sentimental culture in the eighteenth century, providing a new perspective on this complex topic
    • Provides a thorough introduction to the theories and practices of bourgeois drama, investigating its emergence in depth
    • Contains a detailed discussion of experiments in a sentimental operatic genre, refining our understanding of the genre system of Italian opera in general
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'A valuable contribution not only to the study of late eighteenth-century opera but to our awareness of the priorities, absorptions and obsessions of cultured Europe on the eve of the French Revolution.' The Times Literary Supplement

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2018
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108461832
    • length: 297 pages
    • dimensions: 245 x 170 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.54kg
    • contains: 13 b/w illus. 17 music examples
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    A prologue on genre
    1. Pamela goes to the opera
    2. The emergence of bourgeois drama
    3. The codification of bourgeois drama
    4. Opera as drame
    5. Sensibility and the moral cure
    6. A sentimental opera
    7. Sentimental, anti-sentimental
    8. Avenues
    Appendix: Bartolomeo Benincasa's preface to Il disertore (1784).

  • Author

    Stefano Castelvecchi, University of Cambridge
    Stefano Castelvecchi is Lecturer in Music at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of St John's College. He has published critical editions of works by Rossini and Verdi and various articles on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Italian opera. His edition of Abramo Basevi's The Operas of Giuseppe Verdi (1859) is forthcoming.

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