Joseph Haydn and the dramma giocoso

dc.contributor.authorDebly, Patricia Anne
dc.contributor.supervisorLazarevich, Gordana of Musicen_US of Philosophy Ph.D.en_US
dc.description.abstractHaydn's thirteen extant Esterhazy operas, composed from 1762-85, represent a microcosm of the various trends in Italian opera during the eighteenth century. His early operas illustrate his understanding and mastery of the opera seria, the intermezzo and the opera buffa traditions which he would utilize in his later drammi giocosi. In addition to his role as Kapellmeister Haydn adapted and conducted over eighty-one operas by the leading Italian composers of his day, resulting in over 1,026 operatic performances for the period between 1780-90 alone and furthering his knowledge of the latest styles in Italian opera. This dissertation examines the five drammi giocosi which Haydn wrote, beginning with Le pescatrici (1769) through to La fedelta premiata (1780), within the context of the dramma giocoso tradition. To fully understand this tradition, as well as Haydn's compositional style, the comic and serious genres are analysed first since they are the basis for the dramma giocoso. All these operas not only represent Haydn's development as an opera composer, but serve to exemplify the general changes in eighteenth-century Italian opera. Haydn is seen as an important part of this tradition, both as a borrower and as an innovator. In the first two drammi giocosi, Le pescatrici and L'incontro improvviso (1775), the characters are portrayed as stock character types and the structure of the libretto generally adheres to the separation of serious and comic characters. In these works Haydn follows the musical conventions for each character type with only slight deviations. It is in the last three drammi giocosi, Il mondo della luna (1777), La vera costanza (1778/79 and 1785) and La fedelta premiata that the characters are musically portrayed as multi-dimensional personalities with many belonging to the category of the mezzo carattere. The structure of the libretto is more realistic, no longer strictly following earlier formulas and contains social commentary with explicit criticism of the upper class. Through musical analysis Haydn is shown to be the consummate musical dramatist, as he both follows and subverts the tradition, while observing the exigencies of the libretto.en_US
dc.rightsAvailable to the World Wide Weben_US
dc.subjectOpera, 18th centuryen_US
dc.titleJoseph Haydn and the dramma giocosoen_US


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