Das Libretto zur Oper Porsena von Agostino Piovene (Venedig 1712) als Vorläufer der Festa teatrale Costanza e Fortezza von Pietro Pariati (Prag 1723)

Variant title
The libretto to the opera Porsena by Agostino Piovene (Venice, 1712) as a forerunner to the festa teatrale Costanza e Fortezza by Pietro Pariati (Prague, 1723)
Author: Veselá, Irena
Source document: Musicologica Brunensia. 2021, vol. 56, iss. 1, pp. 59-79
Extent
59-79
  • ISSN
    1212-0391 (print)
    2336-436X (online)
Type: Article
Language
German
Abstract(s)
The paper analyses and compares two italian librettos written in the 1st half of the 18th century: Agostino Piovene' libretto of the opera Porsena, performed in Venice during the carnival seasons of 1712 and 1713; and the libretto by Pietro Pariati written for the festa teatrale Costanza e Fortezza, performed in Prague in 1723 at the coronation of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI as King of Bohemia. Both librettos are inspired by historical events documented by the Roman historian Livy (59 BC – AD 17), recounting the overthrow of the last Tarquin king and the subsequent siege of Rome by Porsenna who tried to help restore the Tarquin dynasty and, according to Livy, failed to do so. Before arriving at the Vienna court in 1714, Pariati lived in Venice and thus was probably familiar with Piovene's libretto. The paper argues that the differences between the two librettos are caused also by the fact that Pariati in his Costanza e Fortezza from 1723 adapted the characters as well as the overall tone of certain episodes to serve the current dynastic and political interests of Charles VI. The paper is based on the close reading of selected character lines, the main points of comparison being the characters and their portrayal, as well as different adaptations of particular episodes in both librettos. The most apparent differences between the two adaptations are understandably caused by the different genres (Piovene's dramma per musica being an opera seria, while Pariati's festa teatrale was rather a form of courtly entertainment written in celebration of a ruler). The deeper and more fundamental difference, though, lies in Pariati's implicit defence of the Pragmatic Sanction expressed through allegorical nuances in the dialogue. One of the key differences, which upholds Charles VI's politics, is the Romans' adamant refusal of peace secured through marriage between the enemies of Rome and Roman girls in Costanza e Fortezza; while in Piovene's story, the Romans are willing to negotiate with their enemies about a marriage offer. The other key difference, perhaps surprising in the context of the Habsburg rule, is the Costanza e Fortezza's greater emphasis on the concept of republican freedom that the Romans gained in opposition to the tyranny of the Tarquin dynasty. The paper will explain the particular emphasis on these themes in Pariati's work, in light of the political situation in which it was written. The paper builds upon the authors previous study The Giovanni Bononcini's Opera Muzio Scevola (1710) and the Johann Joseph Fux' Festa teatrale Costanza e Fortezza (1723). From a Music Dramma to an Allegory published in 2018 in the Supplementum to the journal Musicologica Brunensia.
Note
  • The paper was funded by the Institutional support for long term conceptual development of a research organization (The Moravian Library) by the Czech Ministry of culture.
Document
References:
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