Characters and audience – III, by Sonia Arienta

Although with different styles and point of view, many XIX century italian operas – especially Rossini’s, Donizetti’s, Bellini’s and Verdi’s ones – revolve around a problem, very important in particular to the society born from French Revolution: the criticism towards the principium auctoritatis. This one in order to the family field and the politic scene. In the first example the plots are based on tyrannical male characters (fathers, husbands, brothers), in the last one we have despotic kings or queens. Stories and characters represent a primary element revealing the choices and the reading of the world adopted by the composers, beyond all the declarations of their intent. They constitute the will to elude the politics of Restauration, notwithstanding the theatrical impresarios and the audience, were linked to a reactionary context, or surrounded by it.
But the rebellion of the characters towards the established order, whether familiar, or social and politic, their unfortunate destinies strike audience and capture their attention, first of all thanks to the empathy excited by music noted in the score. With her complexity, surprises and restrictions imposed by the codes of the genre.
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