Learning outcomes of the course unit
At the end of the course students will know the historical lines of Italian musical drama and its forms (Knowledge and understanding); they will be able to identify the lyric numbers contained in an Italian libretto written between the Seventeenth and the Nineteenth century and distinguish the sections in which they were conventionally divided (Applying knowledge and understanding). They will also examine the critical texts, to identify the hierarchy of the topics discussed and identify further questions relevant to the advancement of knowledge (Making judgements). They will also be able to express the content of the discipline with specific language and technical competence, at least with regard to poetic, narrative, linguistic and formal structures. Even without requiring analytical skills and techniques in the field of music, however, it is necessary to acquire at least the main terms to describe the music that has been listened (Communication skills). The students will also be able to investigate the sources of opera, even not presented in class, in order to identify the specific traits and the most useful for forthcoming studies (Learning skills).
Knowledge of the essentials of the history of Italian literature and the basis of Italian metrics and poetic. No specific technical knowledge in the music field is required.
Course contents summary
The course introduces students to the historical profile of opera from XVII to XIX century; also it provides also the keys and technical skills necessary to understand the poetics of the main composers and the role of music in the theater in different times and genres.
In the first part the course proposes the study of the strategies available to the theater music. We will examine the poetic structures of the libretto, musical forms that set it, the techniques that adapt pre-existing texts to musical theater, the forms of expression of dramatized human passion.
On the basis of the theoretical elements studied in the first part of the course, the second part will focus on the operas by Verdi of which the historical arch will be traced and the main historiographical lines presented.
For the first part of the course (6 ECTS)
- Gloria Staffieri, Un teatro tutto cantato. Introduzione all’opera italiana, Roma, Carocci, 2013
- Lorenzo Bianconi , Il teatro d’opera in Italia, Bologna, Il Mulino, 1993, pp. 47-96
- Gilles De Van, Teatralità francese e senso scenico italiano nell’opera dell’Ottocento, in La realizzazione scenica dello spettacolo verdiano. Atti del congresso internazionale di studi (Parma, 28-30 settembre 1994), a cura di P. Petrobelli e F. Della Seta, Parma, Istituto di Studi Verdiani, 1996, pp. 167-186
- Harold Powers, Il “Xerses” trasformato, in La Drammaturgia musicale, a cura di Lorenzo Bianconi, Bologna, Il Mulino, 1986, pp. 229-241
- Paolo Russo, Il re riconosciuto: il colpo di scena tra opéra comique e opera giocosa, in Baldassarre Galuppi "il Buranello", a cura di Rodobaldo Tibaldi, Venezia-Parma, Marsilio – La casa della musica, 2007, pp. 33-58
-Listen with the libretto or score of at least one act of Georg Friedrich Handel, Serse e Caro Goldoni e Baldassare Galuppi, Il re alla caccia.
- Listen with the libretto or score of the whole opera Nabucco by Temistocle Solera e Giuseppe Verdi.
Pierluigi Petrobelli, Dal «Mosé» di Rossini al «Nabucco» di Verdi, in Id. La musica nel teatro. Saggi su Verdi e altri compositori, Torino, EdT, 1998, pp. 7-33; Marco Capra, La melodia nuda. “Nabucco” e il progresso dell’arte melodrammatica, Claudio Toscani, “L’aure dolci del suolo natal”. I cori verdiani nell’Italia del Risorgimento, libretto e guida all’ascolto di Marco Marica, tutti in Nabucco, programma di Sala del Teatro la Fenice di Venezia, 2004, rispettivamente alle pagine 71-110, 111-131, 9-58.
A practical dictionary of the operatic terms is: “Le parole del teatro musicale”, edited by Fabrizio Della Seta, Roma, Carocci, 2010 (this text will NOT be examined, but you can use it for a better understanding of the technical terms you will encounter in study program texts)
Non-attending students must follow the Blended course on the Elly-Blended platform.
The program of the second part of the course will be defined after the first week of the lessons of the second part, according to the composition of the learning group and will be upload in Elly platform
The course will comprehend with lectures and group discussions of the operas presented in the class. The course makes use of materials gradually deposited on the Elly platform, as well as the online course - also reachable in the Ellly / Blended platform. During the lessons you will learn the terminology for a brief analytical description of the listening experiences.
Assessment methods and criteria
The test will consist of an oral interview at the end of the course according to the official calendar appointed by the Department. I require depth study of the texts of bibliography, that will be indicated during the course and announced in the website. The interview will test the understanding of the approach and content of each text listed in the bibliography; working directly on the libretto texts, I will check the ability of the students to orient themselves in the dramatic structures of at least one act of the operas indicated: it will be therefore necessary for the students to listen to them several times while they read the libretto. The lack of knowledge of the operas indicated and the lack of an understanding of the minimum content of the course are cause for failure of the verification. The ability to express oneself adequately, to solve problems related to information retrieval and the decoding of complex texts, as well as the ability to make independent judgments will be evaluated on a scale of thirty degrees.
The ability to develop further knowledge and to ask the teacher pertinent questions, even during the test, will bring excellent results. Likewise, the ability of integrated readings and cross-connections between the texts listed in the bibliography will enable excellent results.
Audio and video media and computer on-line will be available.