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The German Baroque Pastoral 'Singspiel'


Mara R. Wade

The study focuses on the earliest German-language opera libretti, the pastoral Singspiele. The history of the term is traced throughout various poetical treatises of the 17th century, from Opitz to Stieler. Three works, Seelewig, Psyche, and Amelinde, are compared in terms of dramatic structure, poetic formulation of the text, the role of literary contrafacture, and the extent of musical accompaniment. The allegorical theme of anima et corpo unites all three works and, indeed, is characteristic of the genre.
Contents: Singspiel: History of the Term - Seelewig (1644) - Psyche (1652) Amelinde (1657) - Anima et Corpo: A Literary Contrafacture G.P. Harsdörffer, S. von Birken, Anton Ulrich, Duke of Braunschweig - Lüneburg.