Three Questions

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Regarding the historical context, it is imperative that information on the Early Modern Period in Italy is communicated effectively, as this was a long series of a transitioning era throughout the world, as well it was in 1713. Being that our point of focus starts with 1713, it is important that we talk about how Habsburg Austria took over in Italy replacing the rule of Habsburg Spain. Foreign rule was huge during this time in history, and that is something that must be conveyed as well as the strength and power of the church. When it comes to daily life in Italy, it is imperative that we keep the information that fuels our topic of discussion first, such as Baroque being not only a music and theatre form but an art and architecture form as well during the time. Also, we should speak on Baroque in Italy being the starting point for opera being perceived as an aspect of entertainment for the first time as discovered in our sources.

2. Our topic expresses the philosophies, ideologies, and political circumstances of the time in one way-- through music and theatre. Baroque Italian Opera being a form of entertainment, the voicing of any one of those three things would only be able to be expressed and evoked through the theatricality of Baroque operatic style. Hence, if Baroque Italian Opera were to express these things it would be through their performance which would serve as a mirrror of reflection to what they wanted to speak to

We also know that our topic involves the social and theatrical tendencies of the upper class. Vivaldi was known for his speed in writing his scores and often borrowing elements from other scores to add to his own. This was partially due to audiences constantly wanting new material to consume. As opera was generally something that the upper class would partake in this tells us about the tendencies of the higher class in seeing musical theatre. This could also bring us to the censorship of Vivaldi's Arsilda, Regina di Ponto and why it was found necessary to stifle Vivaldi and his artistic freedom.

3. Regarding historical context, some big ideas that will have to be left out may include some aspects of life in Italy during the time including industry and commerce, cost of living and dying, and the customs and nobility of the Italians. However we would have to include information concerning the Early Modern Period, religion and clergy, and theatre and music. If the group is really pressed for time, than perhaps speaking on both Baroque Italian art and architecture in addition to Baroque Italian Opera may need to be left out. However, as a group that would be something that would definitely be worth while discussing, as we would be able to compare and contrast two completely different styles of Baroque art form. Unfortunately, due to time, we will also have to leave out nearly all discussion of other Baroque artists and composers of the time so we can focus on Vivaldi.

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Hi Group,

Great work on this. You've clearly put a good amount of time and effort into the early stages of your research and I'm seeing lots of specifics. Some comments:

Question 1 - I think you're setting up a great frame by discussing the main political action happening at the time, and considering how that feeds into the power structures within which opera operated. I'm wondering what specific aspects of the opera(s) you're examining you'll look at (libretto? costumes? audience make-up? etc.). Beware becoming all about the era and not about the art.

Question 2 - Be careful about downplaying how much you can link theatrical performances to the political and social circumstance going on at the time. Yes, operas do express through their lyrics certain views on contemporary matters, however, there are also other ways in which opera's context might resonate with its form. What, for instance, is the dominant musical form of the day? How did that form rise to prominence? What class of people compose or listen to this style of music? Consider who the main characters of the opera are - what is their class, religion, gender? How do these aspects reflect the time period?

Question 3 - You've done a good job of narrowing. My sense is that talking about Baroque art and architecture might be too much to fit into the presentation, so maybe consider how you can efficiently mention it and connect it to opera.

Great work overall!


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This page contains a single entry by arke0011 published on November 18, 2012 4:45 PM.

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