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Ancient Drama in Music for the Modern Stage$
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Peter Brown and Suzana Ograjenšek

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199558551

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199558551.001.0001

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Opera Librettos and Greek Tragedy in Eighteenth-Century Venice

Opera Librettos and Greek Tragedy in Eighteenth-Century Venice

The Case of Agostino Piovene

Chapter:
(p.139) 8 Opera Librettos and Greek Tragedy in Eighteenth-Century Venice
Source:
Ancient Drama in Music for the Modern Stage
Author(s):

Robert C. Ketterer

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199558551.003.0008

The period between 1690 and 1710 saw a predilection for violence and tragic denouement in Italian opera, which produced plots nearer to what we think of as tragedy. A part of this shift towards a classical ideal of tragedy in musical drama was Venetian librettist Agostino Piovene, who showed an imaginative approach and attractive versatility in adapting his source materials. This chapter examines Piovene's translations of Greek tragedy. It places them in the context of his libretto production to illustrate how direct experience with the performance of Greek tragedy in combination with his familiarity with neoclassical theory had a formative effect on his dramaturgy.

Keywords:   Agostino Piovene, Greek tragedy, libretto, neoclassical theory, dramaturgy, Italian opera

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