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Chivalric Festivals at the Ferrarese Court of Alfonso II d’Este

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Alessandro Marcigliano

In the age of Alfonso II D’Este (1533-1597), the tournois à thème developed into a more complex performance, the cavalleria, which involved stage-setting, acting, music, dancing, machinery and firework displays. One of its most accomplished examples was the cavalleria L’Isola Beata (1569), which is fully described and analysed in this work. The cavalleria also influenced the development of dramatic tournaments in the Italian courts, and anticipated a new form of performance in the Baroque period, the opera-torneo.
Contents: Renaissance theatre in Ferrara: a general view – The Age of Alfonso II – Ferrarese cavallerias (1561-1570): L‘Isola Beata (1569) – Influence of cavalleria in Italy – The opera-torneo in Ferrara and the Ferrarese tradition in the Baroque period.