Within the studies dedicated to the history of the classical tradition, not every feasible field of research has completely been explored. A topic scarcely attented to by now is the scenery of operas staging the Graeco-Roman world. Among the operas with a classical setting composed during the 19th century, one of the major successes, albeit nearly forgotten today, was Jone by Errico Petrella (1813-1877). The libretto of this opera (performed for the first time in Milan, at La Scala theater, in 1858) had been drawn from the celebrated novel The Last Days of Pompeii by Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1834). Unfortunately, the scene-sketches and the costume-designs of the many settings of Jone staged in the last decades of the 19th century are for the most part lost today. But luckily we have the costume-designs of the premiere in 1858 and all the scene-sketches of a second La Scala setting in 1861. From this material we can deduce that, in line with the practice of contemporary stage painters, the artists in charge of the visual look of the shows did not aim much at creating a historically reliable setting, because their work was basically orientated to the pursuit of a good theatre effect. The stage painters contented themselves with evoking a mannered antiquity, which could not however exclude the reproduction of real ancient buildings, even if this was seldom proper and pertaining to the performed action. Among the drawings of 1861 Jone, albeit fancy to a great extent, we can at least pick out a sketch indicating that its author, the stage painter Carlo Ferrario, took care to re-create a real Pompeian setting.
|Numero di pagine||17|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2019|