Calderòn’s Dramatic Technique: The Orchestration of the Arts, from Drama to Opera
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It is now perfectly commonplace to consider that the simultaneous and general use of mythology, costumes, scenery and luxurious stage effects, together with music, song and dance in the theatre led to the development of opera. Of course, this occurred through a certain variety of national forms, due to separate experiences among the royal courts of Europe during the XVIIth century: in England the court masque, in France the ballet de cour, in Italy the mythological and pastoral intermezzi of Medici Florence. But the main influence and source for all remained the Italian experience, and even Spain — due to political ties with this country — could not avoid those prestigious musical and scenic models. That is why it is noteworthy to observe that the intermezzi themselves were the product of the joint activities of a large number of artists: musicians, playwrights, painters and architects,1 as can be seen in the meetings of the Camerata Fiorentina dei Bardi among which one can say that European opera was born by the very beginning of the XVIIth century. Thus arose at that time, from court performance to opera, the first form of the ideal of gesamtkunstwerk which was to have so much importance in the XIXth century.
KeywordsXVIIth Century Royal Court Court Performance Musical World Musical Element
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