Chapter

THE AUDIENCE AND THE QUESTION OF PATRONAGE

Beth L. Glixon and Jonathan E. Glixon

in Inventing the Business of Opera

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780195154160
Published online May 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780199868483 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195154160.003.0011
THE AUDIENCE AND THE QUESTION OF PATRONAGE

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This chapter explores questions regarding the audience, ticket sales, attendance figures, and the patronage of opera in Venice. Opera boxes are viewed in this chapter not so much as a form of income for the theater, but as a means of displaying social status. For several theaters, especially S. Aponal, surviving records and accounts allow for a study of the boxholders, and audiences consisting of a mix of Venetian patricians, Venetian cittadini and businessmen, and foreigners can be observed. Ambassadors, moreover, had special privileges in the granting of opera boxes. The chapter concludes with an examination of opera and patronage, making reference to previous theories of public opera espoused by Claudio Annibaldi, Lorenzo Bianconi, and Thomas Walker. The book concludes that opera in Venice was made possible only through the participation of a wide range of artisans, merchants, cittadini, and patricians, nearly all of whom risked losing money on this expensive entertainment.

Keywords: attendance; audience; boxholder; patricians; ambassador; libretto; dedication; opera commission; Claudio Annibaldi

Chapter.  14812 words. 

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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