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Musikalisk konstruktion av det exotiska i opera seria under tidigt 1700-tal
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Musicology and Performance Studies.
Responsible organisation
2008 (Swedish)Report (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
Abstract [en]

That opera seria of the early eighteenth century can be interpreted in terms of the theoretical model of Edward Said’s “Orientalism”, has been established by scholars during the last decades. The drama often shows a polarity between two characters, the Ideal and the Exotic (Other). This dichotomy has been interpreted as a manifestation of the absolutistic ideal of the socio-historical context. If interpreted in relation to the drama the music often seems to confirm this model of representation.

However, if one takes an opera seria’s multimedial constitution into consideration, and focuses on the independence of the music in relation to other means of expression, the construction of the Exotic appears as more nuanced than what has previously been established. In the following article this is demonstrated through a performative analysis of the opera Semiramide riconosciuta, set by Johann Adolf Hasse to the drama by Pietro Metastasio. The opera, performed in Venice during the carnival season 1744-1745, contains an exotic character that deviates from the stereotypical representation of the “barbaric” in for example Handel’s Giulio Cesare (1724) and Hasse’s Cleofide (1731). Challenging the dichotomy of Ideal and Other both dramatic and musically, the exotic character here appears as suited to the specific context of the performance situation in Venice, manifesting both the tradition of the carnival and the republican form of government.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Institutionen för musik- och teatervetenskap, Stockholms universitet , 2008. , 27 p.
Musikvetenskapliga publikationer, ISSN 1654-3858 ; 3
Keyword [sv]
opera, opera seria, musik, performativitet, orientalism, Johann Adolf Hasse, Metastasio, Semiramide
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-8235ISBN: 978-91-976961-2-8OAI: diva2:199861
Available from: 2010-01-11 Created: 2008-09-25 Last updated: 2010-01-13Bibliographically approved

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