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Italian opera under the Belgian climate: the Peruzzi and Landi imprese in Brussels, 1727-1730

Bruno Forment (UGent)
Author
Organization
Abstract
On 27 April 1727, Italian opera returned to Belgium after decades of absence. Sixteen opere serie and five comic intermezzi– the lion’s share of which not listed in Sartori’s catalogue – called a temporary halt to Lully’s hegemony at the Théâtre de la Monnaie, Brussels. Textual analysis of the relevant libretti (the scores are lost) shows all productions to constitute pasticci, assembled by the impresarios Antonio Maria Peruzzi and Giovanni Sebastiano Brillandi (ps. Giovachino Landi) from works by Cortona, Handel, Orlandini, Porpora, Porta, G. Sammartini, Sarro, Vinci and Vivaldi. What “conglomerate of voices” (Reinhard Strohm) prompted Peruzzi and Landi’s activity inBrussels and their repertoire? First of all, the Austro-Belgian governments (1725-41) of Count Wirich Philipp von Daun and Archduchess Maria Elisabeth von Habsburg appear to have provided the appropriate context for Italian opera; not by chance, each performance was tied to the Viennese Court calendar through a ceremonial framework of Te Deums, balls and cannonades. Second, there was the singing personnel (e.g., the ‘Handelian’ contralto Anna Dotti, the ‘Vivaldian’ soprano Maria Giusti, and the comic duo Ungharelli-Ristorini), whose suitcases contained sufficient ‘hits’ to convert a francophile audience to Italian opera. All the same, the Belgian public clung to its recent Bourbon heritage and refused to applaud. Both Italian imprese went bankrupt. Attalo (5 February 1730), Landi’s last offering, openly allegorized the “injustice” done to the “Italian Poetry and Music, so loved and appraised under the Austrian Sky, but derided and mocked under the Belgian climate”.
Keywords
Habsburg, Daun, Brussels, imprese, Maria Elisabeth, Avoglio, Dotti, Antinori, Peruzzi, Italian, Landi, opera seria, Monnaie

Citation

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MLA
Forment, Bruno. “Italian Opera Under the Belgian Climate: The Peruzzi and Landi Imprese in Brussels, 1727-1730.” 14th Biennial International Conference on Baroque Music. 2010. Print.
APA
Forment, B. (2010). Italian opera under the Belgian climate: the Peruzzi and Landi imprese in Brussels, 1727-1730. 14th Biennial International Conference on Baroque Music. Presented at the 14th Biennial International Conference on Baroque Music.
Chicago author-date
Forment, Bruno. 2010. “Italian Opera Under the Belgian Climate: The Peruzzi and Landi Imprese in Brussels, 1727-1730.” In 14th Biennial International Conference on Baroque Music.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Forment, Bruno. 2010. “Italian Opera Under the Belgian Climate: The Peruzzi and Landi Imprese in Brussels, 1727-1730.” In 14th Biennial International Conference on Baroque Music.
Vancouver
1.
Forment B. Italian opera under the Belgian climate: the Peruzzi and Landi imprese in Brussels, 1727-1730. 14th Biennial International Conference on Baroque Music. 2010.
IEEE
[1]
B. Forment, “Italian opera under the Belgian climate: the Peruzzi and Landi imprese in Brussels, 1727-1730,” in 14th Biennial International Conference on Baroque Music, Queen’s University, Belfast, 2010.
@inproceedings{1029809,
  abstract     = {On 27 April 1727, Italian opera returned to Belgium after decades of absence. Sixteen opere serie and five comic intermezzi– the lion’s share of which not listed in Sartori’s catalogue – called a temporary halt to Lully’s hegemony at the Théâtre de la Monnaie, Brussels. Textual analysis of the relevant libretti (the scores are lost) shows all productions to constitute pasticci, assembled by the impresarios Antonio Maria Peruzzi and Giovanni Sebastiano Brillandi (ps. Giovachino Landi) from works by Cortona, Handel, Orlandini, Porpora, Porta, G. Sammartini, Sarro, Vinci and Vivaldi. 
What “conglomerate of voices” (Reinhard Strohm) prompted Peruzzi and Landi’s activity inBrussels and their repertoire? First of all, the Austro-Belgian governments (1725-41) of Count Wirich Philipp von Daun and Archduchess Maria Elisabeth von Habsburg appear to have provided the appropriate context for Italian opera; not by chance, each performance was tied to the Viennese Court calendar through a ceremonial framework of Te Deums, balls and cannonades. Second, there was the singing personnel (e.g., the ‘Handelian’ contralto Anna Dotti, the ‘Vivaldian’ soprano Maria Giusti, and the comic duo Ungharelli-Ristorini), whose suitcases contained sufficient ‘hits’ to convert a francophile audience to Italian opera.
All the same, the Belgian public clung to its recent Bourbon heritage and refused to applaud. Both Italian imprese went bankrupt. Attalo (5 February 1730), Landi’s last offering, openly allegorized the “injustice” done to the “Italian Poetry and Music, so loved and appraised under the Austrian Sky, but derided and mocked under the Belgian climate”.},
  author       = {Forment, Bruno},
  booktitle    = {14th Biennial International Conference on Baroque Music},
  issn         = {N/A},
  keywords     = {Habsburg,Daun,Brussels,imprese,Maria Elisabeth,Avoglio,Dotti,Antinori,Peruzzi,Italian,Landi,opera seria,Monnaie},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Queen's University, Belfast},
  title        = {Italian opera under the Belgian climate: the Peruzzi and Landi imprese in Brussels, 1727-1730},
  year         = {2010},
}