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Goldoni as Librettist

Theatrical Reform and the "drammi giocosi per musica</I>


Ted Emery

Carlo Goldoni (1707-1793) is widely recognized as one of Italy's finest playwrights, but his production for the operatic theatre is much less well known. While musicologists have established the importance of Goldoni's innovations in the form of the comic libretto, literary scholars have tended to see the drammi giocosi as at best a pale reflection of the plays, and at worst a distortion of the «real» Goldoni.
In Goldoni as Librettist, Emery traces the complex web of relationships between plays and libretti, illustrating the ways in which the author used his operas to prepare for the comedies, or to experiment with themes to which the plays were closed. This reading of Goldoni's operatic texts not only confirms their status as a form of literary activity, but also allows us to more fully understand Goldoni's development as a playwright.
Contents: A study of the opera libretti of Carlo Goldoni, examining the links between his production for the musical theatre and his better-known spoken comedies.