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Ancient Drama in Music for the Modern Stage$
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Peter Brown and Suzana Ograjenšek

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199558551

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199558551.001.0001

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The Gods out of the Machine…and their Comeback*

The Gods out of the Machine…and their Comeback*

(p.193) 11 The Gods out of the Machine…and their Comeback*
Ancient Drama in Music for the Modern Stage

Bruno Forment

Oxford University Press

This chapter first considers the presence of both of human and divine interests in Italian opera. It then describes how French classicist drama found its way into Italian libretto adaptations, and in so doing, pushed the narratives of Italian opera — history, myth, romance, or pastoral — through the rationalist filter. However, Italian opera overcame its rationalist hubris and re-endorsed its own past. No longer feeling the need to enshrine itself as a descendant of spoken tragedy, the dramma per musica crossed the borders of reason to enter the realm of the marvellous, thus exploring topoi that had formerly been locked up behind the bars of Aristotelianism.

Keywords:   Italian opera, rationalism, dramma per musica, deus ex machina, French classicist drama

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