VENICE ON STAGE

Adria consolata festa teatrale nel solenne giorno natalizio della sacra R.I. Maesta’ di Francesco II. Da rappresentarsi nel nobilissimo Teatro della Fenice l’anno 1803.

Venice, Vincenzo Rizzi, [1803].

4to in 12, pp. [2 (blank)], iv-xxi, [3 (blank)], small woodcut ornament to title; a very good copy bound later (?) in contemporary Italian floral wrappers block-printed in blue, green, red, and yellow; lightly creased in middle; modern label with manuscript inscription ?‘P. Gel’ to recto of first blank.

£275

Approximately:
US $357€327

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Adria consolata festa teatrale nel solenne giorno natalizio della sacra R.I. Maesta’ di Francesco II. Da rappresentarsi nel nobilissimo Teatro della Fenice l’anno 1803.

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First edition, very rare, of this libretto of Adria consolata, performed at Venice’s Teatro La Fenice on 12 February 1803 in honour of the birthday of Holy Roman Emperor Francis II (1768–1835).

Written by Melchior Cesarotti, professor of Greek literature at the University of Padua, with music by Ferdinando Bertoni, Kapellmeister at St Mark’s Basilica, the festa teatrale (a genre then particularly popular at the Viennese court) sees Adria, or the personified city of Venice, and a host of nations ‘willingly subjected’ to Habsburg rule consoled by Austria. ‘La Fenice, as the city’s foremost theater, found itself compelled to reflect the city’s changed political circumstances in operatic encomiums to foreign rulers on their visits or birthdays. This cluster of works (usually cantatas) followed a mythological theme, with the city invariably enshrined as “Adria”, the spirit of the lagoon, in dialogue with other deities. The tone was submissive and placatory’ (Rutherford, ‘The City Onstage: Re-Presenting Venice in Italian Opera’, in Aspden ed., Operatic Geographies (2019), p. 93).

The performance took place 12 February 1803, starring soprano Luigia Caldarini (d. 1834), who had made her debut at La Scala in Puccitta’s Fuoruscito in 1801; a second edition was published in the same year in Padua, ‘per Giuseppe e fratelli Penada’.

OPAC SBN finds only two copies in Italy. OCLC finds a further three, at the Bibliothèque nationale de France, the Fisher Library, and the Newberry. Not on Library Hub.

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