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Inventing the Business of OperaThe Impresario and His World in Seventeenth-Century Venice$
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Jonathan Glixon and Beth Glixon

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195154160

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195154160.001.0001

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DANCERS, EXTRAS, AND THE ORCHESTRA

DANCERS, EXTRAS, AND THE ORCHESTRA

Chapter:
(p.215) CHAPTER EIGHT DANCERS, EXTRAS, AND THE ORCHESTRA
Source:
Inventing the Business of Opera
Author(s):

Beth L. Glixon

Jonathan E. Glixon

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195154160.003.0008

This chapter looks at the expenses associated with dancers, extras, and the orchestra. Dance provided an important visual and musical component of 17th-century opera. Giovanni Battista Balbi, who appeared in the first public opera in Venice, is the most famous Venetian dancer and choreographer of the 17th century. The papers of impresario Marco Faustini introduce the names of a number of previously unknown choreographers, namely Giovanni Battista Martini, Battista Artusi, Olivier Vigasio, and Agostino Ramaccini. Faustini paid the choreographer a set fee, and also provided shoes and costumes designed to complement the themes of the dances. Costumes were also provided for extras, who added pomp and splendor to various scenes in the opera. The Faustini papers also provide crucial data for the understanding of the orchestra: its size, makeup, and means of payment. The orchestra comprised stringed and various continuo instruments, and was led either by the composer of the opera, or by someone suggested by him.

Keywords:   dance, choreographer, costumes, Battista Balbi, impresario, Marco Faustini, strings, continuo

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