By Gesine Manuwald
This publication analyses the tale of Nero and Octavia, as dramatically advised within the pseudo-Senecan Octavia, and its variations in (early) glossy opera and comparable items of alternative performative genres. In an in depth exam of the libretto (and dramatic) texts, the influence of this interesting tale is proven from the start of historic opera. the quantity is consequently of relevance to literary students in addition to to readers attracted to the background of opera.
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Additional info for Nero in Opera: Librettos as Transformations of Ancient Sources
81 _____________ 81 that the dramatist, when dealing with a historical subject, has regarded as his unassailable right for a long time. ’ See [Jean-Marie Souriguère de Saint-Marc], Octavie, Tragédie en cinq actes et en vers, Représentée sur le Théâtre Français, le 9 Décembre 1806, Paris 1806, address ‘A Sénèque’ (pp. i–iv): “Ombre illustre d’un grand homme, reçois ce faible et respectueux tribut de mes veilles. 4 Ubiquity: the artistic reception of the Nero story 35 Other writers perhaps did not see their work in a similarly close relationship to Seneca’s writings and doctrines and / or did not regard Seneca’s participation in a plot as dramatically effective as that of other characters.
4 Ubiquity: the artistic reception of the Nero story 31 depend on the underlying definitions and the accessibility of material, they give an indication of the spread of the Nero story. The numbers indicate that the engagement with events connected with Nero flourished in literary and musical genres during extended periods, particularly in the 17th, 19th and 20th centuries, and in a wide range of countries, languages and formats. While the topic was taken up in most European countries and in the USA, there is a clear dominance of musical pieces in Italy, followed by Germany and France.
G. 65–66; Buelow 1993, 197; Schröder 2006, 197. 3 Background: features of 17th- and 18th-century opera 29 The vibrant musical life in the city, which was not restricted to fixed times within the year as the carnival in Venice, attracted a number of famous librettists, composers and musicians. The important role of Hamburg in this period is further demonstrated by the fact that librettists working there had literary aspirations and prefaced the prints of their librettos with extensive introductions.
Nero in Opera: Librettos as Transformations of Ancient Sources by Gesine Manuwald