Sulle tracce di Oranzebe. «L’opera seria» di Calzabigi e Gassmann (Vienna, 1769)

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“L’opera seria” by Ranieri Calzabigi and Florian Leopold Gassmann, performed for the first time in Vienna in 1769, is one of the most fascinating and complex meta-operas of the eighteenth century. As many similar works, it satirizes the eccentric figures involved in any theatrical production (poet, composer, impresario, singers, dancers and so on). The dramaturgical construction meticolously planned by Calzabigi includes two different layers: the comic action actually staged, and the serious opera “L’Oranzebe”, which is imagined to be reharsed and later performed by the characters of the comedy. The continuous exchange between these two dimensions is the main object of the article. By collecting all the details concerning “L’Oranzebe”, it is possible to demonstrate that Calzabigi’s intention was to create a subtle parody of Metastasio’s "Adriano in Siria": the first scene of the fictional drama appears very similar to the military triumph described by Metastasio, and it is easy to recognize specific correspondences in characters and situations between the two plots. The musical treatment elaborated by Gassmann reflects the double level of the representation: when he writes for the fictional characters of “L’Oranzebe”, he ridicules the typical features of traditional Italian opera, such as the boring repetitions of single words or the virtuosic expansions of the melody; at the same time, in the musical numbers of the comedy he explores new solutions to connect music and action in a closer and more natural way.
Lingua originaleItalian
Numero di pagine28
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2016

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