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FA-58202-15
Ruggero Leoncavallo’s 1892 Opera "Pagliacci": A Critical Edition with Commentary and Historical Introduction
Andreas Giger, Louisiana State University and A & M College

Grant details: https://securegrants.neh.gov/publicquery/main.aspx?f=1&gn=FA-58202-15

“Svesti la giubba,” or, Uncloaking the Genesis of _Pagliacci_ (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: “Svesti la giubba,” or, Uncloaking the Genesis of _Pagliacci_
Author: Andreas Giger
Abstract: In 1943 Allied bombs destroyed the archives of Leoncavallo’s publisher, Sonzogno, and the Teatro Dal Verme, where _Pagliacci_ was first performed. In light of the resulting scarcity of sources pertaining to the opera’s compositional history, scholarship has relied almost exclusively on Leoncavallo’s autobiographical "Appunti." Contextual sources such as notifications in the press, eyewitness accounts, and a large body of mostly unpublished correspondence now suggest that Leoncavallo cloaked the opera's genesis to protect its legacy. Leoncavallo was twice charged with having imitated an existing play (in 1893 Tamayo y Baus's _Un drama nuevo_, and in 1894 Catulle Mendès's _La femme de Tabarin_). In his protracted defense, he took every opportunity to distinguish his libretto from the literary tradition (of Tabarin-like "plays within a play") to which it belongs and tie it instead to the verismo movement (with which some critics had associated it since the premiere). He began to claim, for instance, that the libretto was based on a crime of passion he had witnessed in Montalto and invented a version of that crime that matched the libretto. Furthermore, in preparation of the first performance in Paris in 1902, he actively contributed to a staging that was to faithfully depict Montalto and the costumes of its people. And as he was tightening the opera's connection to verismo, he was concealing aspects that would have reflected poorly on the opera's reception, including Sonzogno's concerns regarding the quality of the work and the presence of musical borrowings--most notably two substantial, newly identified sections, taken from the composer's French chamber work _La coupe et les lèvres_--in the opera's conclusion.
Date: 7/7/2017
Primary URL: http://www.musik.unibe.ch/forschung/tagungen/toscbern2017/index_ger.html
Primary URL Description: Conference Web Site
Secondary URL: http://www.musik.unibe.ch/unibe/portal/fak_historisch/dkk/musik/content/e39911/e155112/e557876/e578479/BookletDruckansicht260617_ger.pdf
Secondary URL Description: Program book


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