Historic and terrestrial coordinates, by Sonia Arienta

In an opera libretto space-time coordinates appear among the first indications, near by the names of the characters, and typify the plot, its historic and geographic locations. “Where” and “when” in the opera are the outcomes of an aware choice made by composer and librettist. Beyond of and notwithstanding the constraints of censor (in the age where it is active in an explicit way), the second (and third) hand origin of librettos, extracted from dramas and novels, and the antinaturalistic essence of a gender which uses stylisation as guarantee of a manner to create a “distance” effect in the audience.

In XIX century italian melodrama, the action set in our country are in a more little number compared with the one set abroad. A consequence of interest towards european literature products, at the origin of the plot, but, also the result of the cultural curiosity, of the desire in exploring what is “different”….

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