Nella festa tutto? Structure and dramaturgy in Luciano Berio's La Vera Storia

Osmond-Smith, David (1997) Nella festa tutto? Structure and dramaturgy in Luciano Berio's La Vera Storia. Cambridge Opera Journal, 9 (3). pp. 281-294. ISSN 0954-5867

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Abstract

Stories, whether true or calculatedly false, have played at best an ancillary role in the evolution of Berio's approach to musical theatre. Indeed, to find a straightforward example of story-telling in his output, one would have to go back some twenty years from La vera storia to his previous collaboration with Italo Calvino, Allez Hop (1959), an ironic parable narrated in mime. But as soon as subsequent commissions offered Berio the resources of the human voice, he turned away from the seductions of a central narrative core, and instead built his vision of the potential of musical theatre around a more allusive and multi-layered conception. Narratives are still skeletally present – for instance, in Passaggio (1962), which employs the barest outlines of a scenario, spelt out explicidy only at the end, as a frame on which to hang a complex web of poetic and theatrical imagery, or indeed Opera (1970), with its intertwining myths of the ancient and modern worlds evoked through concentrated imagery, but not acted out. But the narrative twists and turns that are the chief pleasure of the story-teller – and the chief impetus behind the lyric outbursts of the operatic tradition – were no longer his concern.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Film and Music > Music
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 21:23
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2012 15:41
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/31020
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