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Copy of Italian Theatre (1400-1700)

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by

James Holderman

on 4 December 2014

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Transcript of Copy of Italian Theatre (1400-1700)

Italian Theater
(1400-1700)

Commedia Dell'Arte
Opera
The Italian Renaissance was a period of enlightenment and flourishing culture. The word “renaissance” means “rebirth”. This is a reference to the abandonment of the medieval mindset in favor of classical Greco-Roman antiquities.


Re-Birth of Renaissance
The Period
James Holderman, Kimberly Cuevas
Renaissance Europeans observed the philosophy, literature, and theoretical works of Ancient Greeks like Aristotle and Horace. A defining characteristic of this period was humanism. Humanism is a
philosophy that emphasizes individualism,
pleasure, and expression. This concept
encouraged the creation of artistic works
like plays, paintings, musical compositions.
Humanism
Opera was first created in Italy at the end of the 16th century. Opera is an art form that combines text with a musical score, telling a story through sung lyrics and acting. It became the most popular form with the opening of the Teatro Vendramin in 1622, known today as Teatro Goldoni.

All the main Italian theatres were owned by wealthy patrician families, they combined business with pleasure in the Italian city. Theater during this period was not only very popular but also competitive.
Commedia Dell'Arte is a form of improvisational comedic theatre. This art form flourished in Italy during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. For the first time women had the right to participate in theatrical production (in contrast to the Elizabethan age). Characters in plays were portrayed by actors wearing masks and every aspect of the drama was top of the line from the scripts to the costumes.

The basic plot of a story would be outlined, and then actors would improvise dialogue and action with the intent of keeping the story moving in the planned direction. Commonly known today as Improv.
Types of characters that were utilized commonly in Commedia Dell'arte are referred to as
stock characters
. These characters would possess similar personalities or roles in society, such as foolish old men, or devious servants.


Arlecchino
: The first Harlequin we hear of is
Alberto Naselli, from Bergamo, in 1572. Anarchic
kind of behavior, always hungry and with no money,
in modern times he could have been a hippie.
During this period, Italy sets the standard. They prospered in an era that placed emphasis on human expression and appreciation for the fine arts.
Intermezzi were entertainments performed between the acts of a play, sometimes they were even humorous interruptions that had nothing to do with the play at all. They acted as intermissions during productions of commedia dell'arte. Pantomimic acting, acrobatic feats, juggling, or wrestling were also used for intermezzi.
Bolshoi Theatre
Moscow and St. Petersburg each had only two theatres. One intended for opera and ballet
(
Bolshoi Theatres
) (
Maly Theater
).

The drama theaters were called the "Maly Theater" ("Maly" is Russian for lesser or small)

Because opera and ballet were considered nobler than drama, the Opera houses were named "Grand Theatres" ("Bolshoi" is Russian for "large" or "grand")

1400-1700
Renaissance Drama.
Rigoletto La Dona e Mobile
Perspective Art in Italy
Perspective is defined as “parallel lines converging to a single point: this point is called the vanishing point."

Giotto di Bondone (1277-1337) is considered the father of perspective. He was a born in the village of Colle di Vespignano, north of Florence.

After Giotto di Bondone, a series of great artists (who either were born in Florence or practiced their art in Florence) worked with the concept of perspective and its applications
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)
Among his many masterpieces are the “Madonna of the Rocks” (1483), “The Last Supper” (1495-97), and “Mona Lisa” (1503)
Michelangelo
(1475-1564)
An architect, sculptor, and painter. He is most famous for painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and David.
The Baroque period had several famous Italian architects in the 1600s mostly known for their churches. The most important were
Gian Lorenzo

Bernini
and
Francesco Borromini
.

Creation of the Printing Press

Goldoni
’s most significant achievement was to breathe new life into the Italian theatre by providing a literary foundation for the commedia dell’arte.

Art... During the Italian renaissance artists thrived and created a new world, this is what made this period in time so historic.
What made Italy famous?
Important Plays
Around 1485, Italian rulers began to finance productions of Roman plays and imitations of them. This prompted interest in rewriting Roman plays into Italian as well as the writing of new plays.

One of first important vernacular tragedy was Sofonisha by Giangiorgio Trissino. Reality was stressed in drama along with plays that teach moral lessons.
Stock Characters
The Mandrake:
A play by Niccolò Machiavelli. The five-act comedy was published in 1524 and first performed in the carnival season of 1526.



Aminta:
A play written by Torquato Tasso in 1573.
Aminta does not pay attention to his lady Silvia, and prefers hunting. Silvia risks rape at the hands of a Satyr to get attention and Aminta saves her; however, Sylvia flees from him. Aminta, finding Sylvias blood-stained veil, attempts to kill himself. Now Silvia is remorseful, comes back to cry over Aminta's body who is still alive, so the two happily marry, following advice that older and wiser friends had been giving them.
The action takes place in the span of 24 hours and the comedy's main theme is the use of fraud, as none of the characters' objectives could be accomplished without it. Machiavelli makes it clear that fraud is acceptable, so long as it furthers a worthwhile cause and the plot revolves around which character is shrewder than the next.
The Mandrake takes place over a 24-hour period. The protagonist, Callimaco, desires to sleep with Lucrezia, the young and beautiful wife of an elderly fool, Nicia. Nicia above all else desires a son and heir, but still has none. Callimaco, conspiring with a rascally marriage broker and a priest, masquerades as a doctor. He convinces Nicia to drug Lucrezia with mandrake, claiming it will increase her fertility. He adds, however, the dire warning that the mandrake will undoubtedly kill the first man to have intercourse with her. Callimaco helpfully suggests to Nicia that an unwitting fool be found for this purpose. A reluctant Lucrezia is eventually convinced by her mother and the priest to comply with her husband's wishes. She allows a disguised Callimaco into her bed and, believing that the events which caused her to break her marriage vows were due to divine providence, thereafter accepts him as her lover on a more permanent basis.
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