Chapter

Choosing a Version

in Divas and Scholars

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2006 | ISBN: 9780226304823
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226304885 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226304885.003.0007
Choosing a Version

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Before rehearsals for an opera begin, the performers must decide what music to incorporate in the production that is being planned. The availability of multiple versions prepared by the composer creates the first problem that must be addressed by modern performers of Italian opera. Surprisingly, few well-known Italian operas exist in a unique version identifiable with the composer; among them are Rossini's Il signor Bruschino and Il viaggio a Reims, Bellini's La sonnambula, and Verdi's Luisa Miller and Rigoletto. In general, the process of deciding which version to perform can be conceptualized in terms of a grid in three dimensions on which to measure the alternatives. These dimensions involve aesthetic and analytic matters, historical circumstances, and the practical conditions of modern performance.

Keywords: rehearsals; performers; Italian opera; versions; composers

Chapter.  17352 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Opera

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