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Opera as a Moral Vehicle: Situating Bellini's Norma in the Political Complexities of Mid-Nineteenth-Century Buenos Aires
Nineteenth-Century Music Review Pub Date : 2021-04-15 , DOI: 10.1017/s1479409820000506
Vera Wolkowicz

On 25 May 1849 Vincenzo Bellini's opera Norma was premiered at the Teatro de la Victoria in Buenos Aires. It was performed four years before the downfall of Juan Manuel de Rosas, Governor of Buenos Aires for more than 20 years, in what it has been considered in Argentine historiography as a ‘terror regime’. The success of the opera combined with the political situation enables the understanding of Norma in political terms. A year prior to the premiere of the opera, the story of the elopement of a young, aristocratic, federal girl, Camila O'Gorman with the priest Uladislao Gutiérrez, had shocked local society. It was followed by another shocking event when, once the couple was found, Rosas decided to have them executed. I argue that the inadvertent similarity between the plot of Norma and the events in relation to Camila O'Gorman's death led to possible interpretations of the opera performance as a justification of Rosas's decision to execute Camila and her lover, whilst also providing a moral lesson to young aristocratic women. In this article, I therefore explore the plausible political overtones hidden in the performance of Norma by comparing librettos and analysing the opera's reception between 1849 and 1851 in the periodicals of the time. In this way, I cast light on a heretofore overlooked, but undeniably rich, period of operatic life in Buenos Aires.



中文翻译:

歌剧作为道德的工具:将贝里尼的诺玛置于十九世纪中叶布宜诺斯艾利斯的政治复杂性中

1849年5月25日,文森佐·贝里尼的歌剧《诺玛》在布宜诺斯艾利斯的维多利亚剧院首演。它是在布宜诺斯艾利斯州长胡安·曼努埃尔·德·罗萨斯(Juan Manuel de Rosas)垮台之前的20多年中进行的,阿根廷史学界将其视为“恐怖政权”。歌剧的成功与政治局势相结合,使人们能够从政治角度理解诺玛。在歌剧首演的前一年,一个年轻的贵族联邦姑娘卡米拉·奥戈曼(Camila O'Gorman)与牧师UladislaoGutiérrez私奔的故事震惊了当地社会。随后又发生了一件令人震惊的事件,当发现这对夫妇时,罗莎斯决定将他们处决。我认为,情节之间的无意相似性诺玛(Norma)以及与卡米拉·奥戈曼(Camila O'Gorman)逝世有关的事件导致可能对歌剧表演进行解释,以此作为罗莎(Rosas)处决卡米拉(Camila)和她的情人的决定的依据,同时也为年轻的贵族妇女提供了道德上的教训。因此,在这篇文章中,我将通过比较歌词和分析1849年至1851年这段时期的歌剧接受者,来探讨隐藏在Norma表演中的合理政治色彩。通过这种方式,我为布宜诺斯艾利斯一个迄今被忽视但无可否认的丰富的歌剧生涯提供了启示。

更新日期:2021-04-15
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