The stone host Aristotele II, by Sonia Arienta

The royal palace in Rossini’s Elisabetta regina d’Inghilterra (1815) is a microcosm containing rooms with different functions: institutional (the trone room), private (queen’s apartments), punitive (hall nearby a prison, prison). The choice of places and their description reflect a world completely under the souvrain’s control, from which nature and the city landscape are excluded. The libretto captions of Giovanni Schmidt omit architectonic or natural backgrounds. In some examples, unity of place is employed by composer in an elastic way (Semiramide); or completely denied in other ones (Donna del Lago, Guglielmo Tell o Armida).
In fact, if in Semiramide the Babylonian royal palace is the most important place in the action, with the most numerous scenes, explored at 360 degrees, from terraces to grave’s basements, on the contrary in La Donna del Lago, we can find wild spaces, subjects houses and the royal palace. In Donizetti’s operatic production we can see a progressive and clear desertion from unity of place use. In Anna Bolena the action starts inside the Westminster palace, but then it moves in the Tower of London. Royal palaces and subjects houses, or other royal properties turn over in Roberto Devereux and Maria Stuarda. In Dom Sébastien Roi du Portugal, the protagonist has a journey from Lisbon to Africa and return.

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