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At the origins of Classical opera

Carlo Goldoni and the «dramma giocoso per musica»


Pervinca Rista

Venetian playwright and pioneer of modern theatre Carlo Goldoni (1707-1793) led a ‘double life’ as a librettist, authoring nearly as many libretti as comedies- libretti which, born from the same mind and the same hand that brought forth his famous, and famously controversial, overhaul of the practices of comic theatre, could not but push the limits of the standing tradition to open a new chapter in opera history. Goldoni became one of the first to give shape to the dramma giocoso per musica, an innovative, realistic, and enduring new genre with intimate connections to prose comedy that met with overwhelming international success, becoming the foundation for the works of future generations, including W. A. Mozart and his Italian librettist Lorenzo da Ponte. Perhaps because of his stature and influence as a comic playwright, Goldoni has rarely been considered as an innovator in the musical sphere. This study aims to shed new light on his primary role in the evolution of Classical opera, and on the legacy of his innovations in the European musical tradition.

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Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek

Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie; detailed bibliographic data is available on the Internet at ‹›.

British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data: A catalogue record for this book is available from The British Library, Great Britain.

Library of Congress Control Number: 2018946493

Cover illustration: Gateano Latilla, L'Amor Artigiano (dramma giocoso in tre atti su libretto di Carlo Goldoni), 1761. MS I 12, from the holdings of the Biblioteca del Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi, Torino (Italy). Use by permission.

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship grant agreement n.701269.

ISSN 1660-8666 pb.

ISBN 978-3-0343-3551-5 pb.

ISBN 978-3-0343-3564-5 EPub

DOI 10.3726/b14367
ISSN 2235-5685 eBook

ISBN 978-3-0343-3563-8 eBook

ISBN 978-3-0343-3565-2 Mobi

Open Access: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons

Attribution 4.0 unported license. To view a copy of this license, visit

This publication has been peer reviewed.

© Pervinca Rista, 2018

Peter Lang AG, International Academic Publishers, Bern 2018

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