Iner Penzholz: Scene Changes: A Voyage Through The Landscape Of Italian Opera - Tuesday 29 January

Opera Documentary: Iner Penzholz: Scene Changes: A Voyage Through The Landscape Of Italian Opera

Arts Channel – Tuesday 29 January, 8.00pm

The history of opera is the history of Italy. It begins at the end of the 16th century with the appearance of a document written in Florence in the form of a musical score. From there it spread to Mantua and Venice. Within a few decades, a theatre together with a good court orchestra became a basic feature of every aristocratic court. In the north and the south, opera-houses sprang up like mushrooms. Italian architects set construction standards throughout Europe: the horseshoe ground plan, the framework of the proscenium arch and the stage with stage settings that could be moved. For nearly 200 years Italy ruled over this new artistic genre. The Italian language would become the language of this new genre. The opera-houses were to become temples for the muses, meeting places for society, and their architecture reflected the pride of their cities. La Scala in Milan, Santa Cecilia in Rome, San Carlo in Naples remain today in the international limelight. But there were also smaller theatres built in the 17th century. They covered Italy and made opera a popular form of music. Over the last two decades many of these jewels of architecture have been restored. Scene Changes is a voyage through the world of Italian opera and its witnesses in stone. Guided by Professor Lorenzo Bianconi, we travel through centuries of music and architectural history of opera. We experience its climax, its decline due to the appearance of the cinema, and its resurrection. Opera, which was born in Italy nearly 400 years ago, still has a vital home there.

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