Italian Opera in the United States, 1800–1850: At the Origins of a Cultural Migration
Giuseppe Gerbino and Francesco Zimei
Libreria Musicale Italiana
Italian Opera in the United States, 1800–1850 explores the events that led Italian opera to cross the ocean and settle in the United States. A raft of neglected documentary artifacts, including hitherto unexamined records from historical newspapers, sheds new light on this phenomenon, which saw Italian artists and intellectuals immigrate to the United States during the century’s first decades. Previously known but only partially understood episodes including Lorenzo Da Ponte’s personal campaign to promote the Italian language in the US, and New York’s Park Theatre controversial opera season of 1825–26, are newly contextualized in light of social, cultural, and political trends of the period. The book also maps the complex network of historical actors who labored to bring Italian opera to life in America. This network included political refugees such as Filippo Trajetta and Piero Maroncelli, passionate patrons such as Dominick Lynch Jr., and bold and sometimes unscrupulous theater managers including Stephen Price and Charles W. Sandford. Italian opera was met with both admiration and suspicion, optimism and skepticism, enthusiasm and irony. Musical traditions and national identities found new meanings along the route of this early Italian migration to North America.
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Claudio Orazi Foreword
Giuseppe Gerbino and Francesco Zimei Introduction
Karen Ahlquist Opera as an Immigrant in Lorenzo Da Ponte’s New York
Barbara Faedda Lorenzo Da Ponte and Cultural Life in the United States