Il furioso nell’isola di San Domingo di Donizetti: la fortuna di un’opera semiseria in epoca romantica tra Italia e Portogallo

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The history of Italian opera is largely transnational: from the diversity of literary and cultural elements that blend in every work, to its spread from major cities to the provinces, from Europe to the Americas. Recognizing this phenomenon, international musicology has been increasingly interested in the history of reception by going beyond an approach that focused mainly on the work and the texts that support it. In peripheral contexts, as in Portugal, the history of opera has long been a history of reception. Starting from an opera like Donizetti’s Il furioso all'Isola di San Domingo, which was premiered in Rome in 1833, this paper aims to explain the reasons and conditions that characterized its success in Italy, especially in Turin, Lisbon and Porto. The fortune of il furioso between Italy and Portugal in the 1830s shows how the semiserio genre continued to be successful even at a moment when the new romantic taste was already being felt. Moreover, the distancing of Italian publics from the daily reality occasioned by the tropical setting only occurs in Lisbon because the work was performed in the Italian theatre by singers of this nationality. It is the environment and the language that create this distance, in total contrast to what happened in the other theatres of the Portuguese capital where attempts were made to introduce ties with the social reality of the city.
Original languageItalian
Title of host publicationTanto ella assume novitate al fianco
Subtitle of host publicationLisbona, Torino e gli scambi culturali fra secolo dei Lumi e Restaurazione
EditorsIsabel Ferreira da Mota, Carla Enrica Spantigati
Place of PublicationRoma
ISBN (Print)9788843089680
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018


  • Italian Opera
  • Portugal
  • History of reception
  • Donizetti
  • Il furioso

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