17th Century Venetian Opera Essay example

2785 Words Dec 24th, 2010 12 Pages
|[Type the company name] |
|Seventeenth Century Venetian Opera |
|Cultural and Economic Factors |
| |
|Lauren A Rader |
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According to Edward Muir, “At the end of the sixteenth century, the camerata theorists under Medici patronage invented the form of musical drama now called “opera” for performance in the courtly environment of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany” (Muir 331). The opening of the Teatro San Cassiano marked the first public opera house for a paying audience. There was a divided relationship between patrician youth and the elderly patrician office holders. While the youth were licentious, the older generation had an impulse for social control.[2] The old law passed by the Council of Ten prohibited theatrical performances that were for carnivals and weddings, especially banning comedies. The Accademia degli Incogniti probably retrieved some of their ideas from the Compagnie della Calza, a club of young nobles “known for their hedonism and pushing the limits of their elders” (Muir 334), created at the end of the 16th century. The Compangie protected their identity through a code of silence. They used surnames, much like the Accademia degli Incogniti would do a century and a half later. Nonetheless, secret organizations were a way to avoid public persecution and harassment, while still speaking out on controversial issues. A young playwright, Ruzante, played characters that made fun of and criticized the upper class. To this end, Ruzante wrote a play where one critic complained that he exceeded the boundaries of taste: “completely lascivious, with very dirty words, and God was
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