28503 - Musical Dramaturgy (LM)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2019/2020

Learning outcomes

The course aims at providing an approach to and a grasp of Musical Dramaturgy in its basic historical and critical principles.
According to the tenets of the discipline, opera is conceived as an intertwined system of verbal text, dramatic action, and music.
In turn, such a system requires a contextualization within the history of Western music as well as within the history of Western theatre and literature.
At the same time, the course aims at training students in the analysis of operatic music, from both a morphological and a theatrical perspective.

Course contents

During the lessons students will be trained in the dramaturgical and morphological analysis of Il trovatore (1853) and La traviata (1853; 1854) by Giuseppe Verdi. Particular attention will be paid to the literary and dramatic sources of the two operas: the drama El Trovador by Antonio García Gutiérrez, and the novel and the five-acts play La Dame aux camélias by Alexandre Dumas fils.

Readings/Bibliography

Students are required to bring with them the libretto by Salvadore Cammarano and Francesco Maria Piave, in addition to the literary and dramatic sources. Students from the Music curriculum (LM45) of the Master Degree in Drama, Art, and Music Studies will also bring with them the scores of Verdi's opera (in any case also useful for other students).

The libretto by S. Cammarano (in the original edition and in the edition ed. by E. Bonomi, in Il trovatore, Venice, Fondazione La Fenice, 2011-2012, pp. 45-92 («La Fenice prima dell’Opera 2011-2012»), and the italian translation of the drama by Gutiérrez will be available among the teaching materials.

The libretto by F. M. Piave (in the original edition and in the edition ed. by M. Marica, in La traviata, Venice, Fondazione La Fenice, 2004-2005, pp. 75-122 («La Fenice prima dell’Opera 2004-2005»), and the italian translation of the pièce by A. Dumas (ed. Luigi Enrico Tettoni, 1852) swill be available among the teaching materials.

NB: It's recommended to avoid web librettos, booklets attached to CDs or DVDs, which often overlook or distort the metric shape of the original.

The scores of Verdi's operas (necessary for LM 45 Music students), are available in a critical edition:

  • G. Verdi, Il trovatore, ed. by David Lawton, Chicago, The University of Chicago Press - Milan, Ricordi, 1993;
  • G. Verdi, La Traviata, ed. by Fabrizio Della Seta, Chicago, The University of Chicago Press - Milan, Ricordi, 1996.

For the preparation of the exam, students can use the corresponding study-scores:

  • G. Verdi, Il trovatore, Critical Edition - Study Score, ed. by David Lawton, Chicago and London, The University of Chicago Press - Milan, Ricordi, 2016;
  • G. Verdi, La traviata, Critical Edition - Study Score, ed. by Fabrizio Della Seta, Chicago and London, The University of Chicago Press, Milan, Ricordi, 2017.

As an alternative, scores edited by Ricordi and Dover can also be used.

Bibliography:

For both learning modules:

  • J. Rosselli, The Life of Verdi, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2000; in alternativa: R. Mellace, Con moltissima passione. Ritratto di Giuseppe Verdi, Roma, Carocci, 2013;
  • H. S. Powers, "La solita Forma" and "The Uses of Convention", Acta Musicologica, Vol 59, Fasc. 1 (Jan–Apr 1987) pp. 65-90;
  • M. Beghelli, Morfologia dell’opera italiana da Rossini a Puccini, in Enciclopedia della musica, diretta da J.-J. Nattiez, vol. IV (Storia della musica europea), Torino, Einaudi, 2004, pp. 895-921 (cfr. materiali didattici; anche in <users.unimi.it/musica/programmi/melo-Beghelli.pdf>)

For the first learning module (Il trovatore):

  • J. Budden, The Operas of Verdi, vol. II (From "Il Trovatore" to "La forza del destino"), London, Cassel, 1978 (chapters I, II, III;
  • A. García Gutiérrez,Il trovatore, edizione con testo a fronte a cura di M. Partesotti, Florence, Aletheia, 2001 (cfr. materiale didattico online);
  • Il trovatore, Venice, Fondazione La Fenice, 2011-2012, pp. 45-92 («La Fenice prima dell’Opera 2011-2012»): M. Girardi, Tempo e racconto nel "Trovatore", pp. 13-28 (cfr. materiale didattico online);
  • F. d’Amico,Il trovatore, in Forma divina. Saggi sull’opera lirica e sul balletto, ed. by N. Badolato and L. Bianconi, vol. I (Sette e Ottocento), Florence, Olschki, 2012, pp. 181-187;
  • P. Gallarati,Verdi ritrovato. "Rigoletto", "Il trovatore", "La traviata", Milan, Il Saggiatore, 2016 (note in fondo al volume); 
  • Introduction by David Lawton, in Il trovatore, Critical Edition - Study Score, ed. by D. Lawton, Chicago and London, The University of Chicago Press, Milan, Ricordi, 2016, pp. XI-XXXVIII.

 

For the second learning module (La traviata):

  • J. Budden, The Operas of Verdi, vol. II (From "Il Trovatore" to "La forza del destino"), London, Cassel, 1978 (chapters I, II, IV);
  • S. Lamacchia, Un tempo, due affetti: una risorsa dell’aria romantica, in «Studi verdiani», XIV, 1999, pp. 51-68 (cfr. materiali didattici);
  • La traviata. Venice, Fondazione La Fenice, 2004-2005, pp. 75-122 («La Fenice prima dell’Opera 2004-2005»): F. Della Seta, “La traviata”, dal dramma alla musica, pp. 9-30; M. Marica, Violetta superstar, pp. 35-54 (cfr. materiale didattico online);
  • M. Beghelli, ‘voce’ La traviata, in Dizionario dell’opera, a cura di P. Gelli, Milan, Baldini e Castoldi, 2007, pp. 1302-1306 (http://www.rodoni.ch/OPERNHAUS/novembre/traviata.html );
  • A. Dumas, La signora delle camelie, ed. by di Marisa Verna, Pisa, ETS, 2011;
  • F. d’Amico, La traviata, in Forma divina. Saggi sull’opera lirica e sul balletto, ed. by N. Badolato and L. Bianconi, vol. I (Sette e Ottocento), Florence, Olschki, 2012, pp. 188-200;
  • La traviata, Edizioni del Teatro alla Scala, stagione 2013/14: C. Toscani, ...la musica, pp. 48-51; A. Rostagno, “Splendeurs et misères des courtisanes” in terra italiana, pp. 53-69; E. Sala, Fisiologia della “Traviata”, pp. 71-85;
  • B. Craveri, Un mondo a parte, pp. 131-145 (cfr. materiali didattici e <static.archiviolascala.org/upload/bibilio/doc/01_la%20traviata_20140717152007.pdf>);
  • Introduction by Fabrizio Della Seta, in La traviata, Critical Edition - Study Score, ed. by F. Della Seta, Chicago and London, The University of Chicago Press, Milan, Ricordi, 2017.
 

About opera in 19th century, and Giuseppe Verdi:

  • L. Bianconi, Il teatro d'opera in Italia, Bologna, Il Mulino, 1993 (and subsequent editions);
  • G. de Van, L'opera italiana, Rome, Carocci, 2002.

About the rudiments of Italian metrics and prosody:

  • L. Bianconi, Il libretto d'opera, in Il contributo italiano alla storia del pensiero – Musica, ed. by S. Cappelletto, Rome, Istituto per l’Enciclopedia Italiana, 2017, pp. 187-208;
  • P. Fabbri, Metro e canto nell’opera italiana, Turin, EDT, 2007;
  • L. Bianconi, Sillaba, quantità, accento, tono, «Il Saggiatore musicale», XII, 2005, pp. 183-218 (<http://www.saggiatoremusicale.it/rivista/XII_2005_1/Bianconi%202005b.pdf>).
  • In addition, Appunti di metrica (see teaching materials).

Some videos will be taken into consideration: 

Il trovatore

  • conductor and stage director H. von Karajan 1978 (singers: Kabaivanska, Cossotto, Domingo, Cappuccilli, van Dam), Arthaus, 2010;
  • conductor Th. Roesner, stage director R. Carsen (singers: Tanner, Tamar, Lucic, Cornetti), Opus Arte, 2006

La traviata:

  • conductor G. Solti, stage director R. Eyre (singers: Gheorgiu, Popardo, Nucci), Decca, 2005;
  • La traviata à Paris, a movie directed by G. Patroni Griffi (Orchestra sinfonica nazionale della RAI, conductor Z. Metha, singers: Gvazava, Cura, Panerai...), Rada film production – Rai Cinema, 2007;
  • conductor C. Rizzi (singers: Netrebko, Villazón, Hampson), Deutsche Grammophon, 2006

 

 

     

     

    Teaching methods

    Frontal lessons, workshops and practices on score and libretto. Viewing of audiovisual materials.

    Assessment methods

    The final oral exam will be focused on the in-depth knowledge of Il trovatore and La traviata, together with their metrical and musical morphological system.

    Knowledge of the rudiments of musical dramaturgy is also required:

    • L. Bianconi – G. Pagannone, Piccolo glossario di drammaturgia musicale, in Insegnare il melodramma. Saperi essenziali, proposte didattiche, ed. by G. Pagannone, Lecce-Iseo, Pensa MultiMedia, 2010, pp. 201-263 (see teaching materials).

    Rudiments of Italian metrics and prosody will be ascertained during the exam.

    Students from other Master degrees are exempt from the knowledge of the third opera and, if they do not have specific musical notions, from the knowledge of the scores. In any case, a reiterated listening of the entire operas is essential.

    Students who intend to account for only 6 CFU will agree a reduced program with the teacher.

    Teaching tools

    Collateral activities and will be announced at the beginning of the class.


    Office hours

    See the website of Nicola Badolato