L'opera dei pupi, Torneo, and Early Opera: Shared Traditions and Intangible Experiences

Matsumoto, Naomi. 2018. L'opera dei pupi, Torneo, and Early Opera: Shared Traditions and Intangible Experiences. In: Barley Norton and Naomi Matsumoto, eds. Music as Heritage: Historical and Ethnographic Perspectives. Routledge-Taylor and Francis. ISBN 9781138228047 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

In 1998 UNESCO launched a new programme of registering and protecting ‘masterpieces of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity’. The first proclamation of such pieces in May 2001 listed
19 items including the marionette theatre practice, l'opera dei pupi, long considered as a characteristic Sicilian cultural tradition. The standard repertoire of L'opera dei pupi consists of chivalric stories based mainly on Italy’s renowned epics Orlando furioso [The Frenzy of Orlando] by Ludovico Ariosto (1474−1533) and Orlando innamorato [Orlando in Love] by Matteo Maria Boiardo (1440 or 41−1494). The interludes between the acts of the main programme present another, separate story in lighter vein often featuring characters from the commedia dell’ arte tradition. A form of puppet theatre in Italy seems to have existed in Roman times but there appears to be very little link between the ancient practice and what we now know as l'opera dei pupi. Arguably, its direct archetype may have been formed in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, but it is during the nineteenth century that l’opera dei pupi established itself. During that century, versions of it could found in Rome, Puglia and Naples, but it became particularly successful in Sicily (Morse 2007: 36−42).

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25 July 2018Published

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Date Deposited:

21 Aug 2018 09:25

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10 Jun 2021 17:51



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