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Lacuna and Enigma: Verdi’s Giovanna d’Arco in Light of Schiller’s Play

  • John PendergastEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Bernard Shaw and His Contemporaries book series (BSC)

Abstract

This chapter begins by considering the lacuna that exists in the list of operas based on works by Schiller: those written in German. Schiller was the source of Rossini’s William Tell, Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda, and no less than four of Verdi’s operas. Pendergast asserts that opera libretti based on Schiller’s plays expose moments of tension between the passing of the baroque and classical operatic traditions and the emergence of the romantic. German opera was little represented in the former and, until the appearance of Wagner, had difficulty gaining a foothold in the latter. Although Verdi attains enduring success with the operas Luisa Miller and Don Carlo, his Giovanna d’Arco fails to hold the stage. Pendergast argues that the disparity in style between Solera’s libretto and the opera’s place as a transition point in the development of Verdi’s mature operatic aesthetic may explain this enigma.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Foreign LanguagesUnited States Military AcademyWest PointUSA

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