Influence of Italian Entertainments on Sixteenth and Seventeenth century Music Theatre in France, Savoy and England

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These essays focus on courtly musical entertainments in Early Modern Europe, providing a framework within which to locate the many aesthetic considerations which lay behind the creation of opera and other musical forms, and, through analyses of individual events, the modalities of the circulation and adaptation of a so-called Italian model throughout Europe. They highlight the constant evolution of the musical entertainments of the Baroque age, and in so doing invite us to reexamine clichés about the origin and nature of operatic genres. With illustrations.


“The range and quality of the contributors is impressive with several leading internationally known scholars in the field included. . . . will make a major contribution to our understanding of musical entertainments at a time when the modern genres of opera and ballet were first being established. The papers deal not just with the intellectual reception of concepts of music theatre but aim to redefine what we mean by this term in the early modern period. A clear focus on the context within which these theatrical forms were performed and a willingness to examine the sources afresh show that the tendency of early scholarship to apply terms derived from the 19th century and make them fit the evidence, rather than the other way around, have led to significant distortions.” – Helen Watanbe-O’Kelly

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:
I: Italian Musical Entertainments
1. (Mis) appropriated Genres and Stylistic Appropriations: Some Problems in Early 17th-Century Music-Theatre (Tim Carter)
2. La Danza di Scena negli Intermedi Fiorentini, 1589-1637 (Sara Mamone)
3. Singing and Dancing on the Italian Stage: The Functions of Late 16th-Century Balli (Jonathan Morgan)
4. (Dis) regarding the Practicalities: An Investigation into Monteverdi’s Response to Rinuccini’s Narciso
II: Musical Entertainments in Savoy, France and England, and the Italian Influence
1. Les Eléments marins dans les Spectacles à la Cour de Savoie, 1585-1628 (Marie-Thérèse Bouquet-Boyer)
2. De l’Ecrit à la Scène: le Chant XVI de la Gerusalemme Liberata et le Ballet de Cour (Marie-Claude Canova-Green)
3. L’Héritage de l’Opéra Italien dans les Tragédies en Musique de Lully (Jérôme de La Gorce)
4. Italian Libretti and the English Court Masque (John Peacock)

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