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Grant number: FA-50611-04

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FA-50611-04

Jennifer w. Brown
University of Rochester (Rochester, NY 14627-0001)

Recovering 17th-Century Venetian Opera

This book deals with an issue central to the study of the humanities: how can we recover and interpret the past, based on the fragmentary physical evidence that has come down to us? For most 17th-century Italian operas, the only surviving musical evidence is a manuscript copy made as a keepsake for a nobleman. Since these copies are clean and neat, it is tempting to treat them as final, definitive texts. Yet this notion has little relevance for opera--an art form designed to be communicated through live performance. In the 17th century, the text of an opera was highly unstable, evolving constantly in response to feedback from a large number of people. By tapping into a rare collection of source materials, and by focusing on the messy process of opera production--rather than on an abstract notion of the definitive, finished product--I aim to recover a view of 17th-century opera history that is faithful to its labile nature.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Music History and Criticism

Program:
Fellowships for University Teachers

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$24,000 (approved)
$24,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2004 – 8/31/2004