References

* Valeria De Lucca ( v.delucca@soton.ac.uk ) is a Lecturer in Music at the University of Southampton. Her scholarly interests include music patronage, with particular regard to early modern women, the circulation of music in early modern Europe, systems of opera production between court and public theaters, and the visual aspects of the operatic spectacle. She is the author of book chapters and articles on music in early modern Italian culture, and she is currently completing a monograph on the music patronage of the Colonna family (1659–1689).

[1] For singers as vehicles of repertory see, for example, Lorenzo Bianconi and Thomas Walker, “Dalla Finta pazza alla Veremonda: Storie di Febiarmonici,” Rivista Italiana di musicologia 10 (1975): 379–454; Jennifer Williams Brown, “Innsbruck, ich muss dich lassen,” Cambridge Opera Journal 12, No. 3 (November 2000): 210; Jennifer Williams Brown, “On the Road with the ‘Suitcase Aria’: The Transmission of Borrowed Arias in Late Seventeenth-Century Italian Opera Revival,” Journal of Musicological Research 15, no. 1 (1995): 3–23.

[2] On the prima donna in Venice see Ellen Rosand, Opera in Seventeenth-Century Venice: The Creation of a Genre (Berkeley: University of California, 1991), 227–37; Beth L. Glixon, ” Private Lives of Public Women: Prima Donnas in Mid-Seventeenth-Century Venice,” Music & Letters 76, no. 4 (November 1995): 509–31. On possibilities for singers to ascend the social ladder in the seventeenth century see also Roger Freitas, Portrait of a Castrato: Politics, Patronage, and Music in the Life of Atto Melani (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009).

[4] For a description of the corpus of correspondence between Giulia Masotti and Cardinal Sigismondo Chigi see Colleen Reardon, “Letters from the Road: Giulia Masotti and Cardinal Sigismondo Chigi,” this issue.

[5] Beth Glixon offers the most detailed account of Giulia Masotti’s early career. See Glixon, “Giulia Masotti, Venice, and the Rise of the Prima Donna.” For an account of Masotti’s biography see Sergio Monaldini, Dizionario biografico degli Italiani online, s.v. “Masotti, Vincenza Giulia,” http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/vincenza-giulia-masotti_(Dizionario-Biografico)/.

[6] Janet Page discovered that Giulia Masotti died in 1701 at the age of fifty. This would suggest that she was eight in 1659, when Lorenzo Onofrio became contestabile. See Janet K. Page, “Sirens on the Danube: Giulia Masotti and Women Singers at the Imperial Court,” this issue, par. 5.5 and ref. 89.

[7] On the Colonna’s patronage of music and theater see Elena Tamburini, Due teatri per il principe. Studi sulla committenza teatrale di Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna (1659–1689) (Rome: Bulzoni, 1997); Valeria De Lucca, “‘Dalle sponde del Tebro alle rive dell’Adria’: Maria Mancini and Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna’s Patronage of Music and Theater between Rome and Venice (1659–1675)” (Ph.D. diss., Princeton University, 2009); Valeria De Lucca, “L’Alcasta and the Emergence of Collective Patronage in Mid-Seventeenth-Century Rome,” The Journal of Musicology 28, no. 2 (Spring 2011): 195–230; and Valeria De Lucca, “‘Pallade al valor, Venere al volto’: Music, Theatricality, and Performance in Marie Mancini Colonna’s Patronage,” in “The Wandering Life I Led”: Essays on Hortense Mancini, Duchess Mazarin and Early Modern Women’s Border-Crossings, ed. Susan Shifrin (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009), 113–56.

[8] For a detailed discussion of the relationship between Giulia Masotti and the Colonna family in Venice see Beth L. Glixon and Jonathan E. Glixon, Inventing the Business of Opera: The Impresario and his World in Seventeenth-Century Venice (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), 209–14; De Lucca, “‘Dalle sponde del Tebro,'” 108–51.

[9] On the Coresi in Venice see Glixon and Glixon, Inventing the Business of Opera, 165–66, 202–4, 212; De Lucca, “‘Dalle sponde del Tebro,'” particularly 108–51.

[10] At the Teatro SS. Giovanni e Paolo they were the dedicatees of La Rosilena and Scipione affricano (1663/64), Orontea and Il Tito (1665/66), and La Dori (1666/67). At the Teatro San Luca, Maria Mancini was the dedicatee of Pompeo Magno (1665/66).

[11] The negotiations with Masotti during the 1666–67 season have been the object of several studies, including Glixon and Glixon, Inventing the Business of Opera, 209–14, Bruno Brunelli, “L’impresario in angustie,” Rivista italiana del dramma 3 (1941): 311–41; Rosand, Opera in Seventeenth-Century Venice, 224, 239–40; De Lucca, “‘Dalle sponde del Tebro,'” 108–51.

[12] Giulia Masotti was not a salaried member of Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna’s household, like Antonia and Nicola Coresi and castrato Giuseppe Fede. However, through his high social rank and his web of relationships with members of the aristocracy as well as with agents of the public theaters, Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna was able to offer Masotti protection and assistance when needed. For a definition of “protector” see John Walter Hill, Roman Monody, Cantata, and Opera from the Circles around Cardinal Montalto, 2 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1997), 1:126. Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna also acted as one of the “protectors” of the Teatro SS. Giovanni e Paolo according to the definition in Glixon and Glixon, Inventing the Business of Opera, 4.

[13] “Mi fo lecito però di dire che spendendo tutto in musici si dovrebbe cercare a fare un opera che nelle parole, e nella musica accompagnasse l’eccellenza de’ recitanti, et in questo fa parlare con raggione la Sig.ra Giulia; mentre lei fu molto più stimata e accetta nella Dori opera vecchia, che nella Rosilena opera nuova, e forse la sua parte inviatagli in Roma sarrà stata riconosciuta per mediocre” ( I-Vas  Scuola Grande di San Marco [henceforth SGSM], busta 188, Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna to Faustini, Milan, October 20, 1666, fol. 345v). See Rosand, Opera in Seventeenth-Century Venice, 194, 240, 438. La Rosilena, music by Giovanni Battista Volpe to a libretto by Aurelio Aureli, premiered in Venice at the Teatro SS. Giovanni e Paolo during the season 1663/1664, and the libretto was dedicated to Maria Mancini Colonna. Masotti and Colonna were not the only ones to express their discontent over the choice of Il Meraspe. See Rosand, Opera in Seventeenth-Century Venice, 240–41.

[14] For revivals in Venice, and this one in particular, see Glixon and Glixon, Inventing the Business of Opera, 100–101, 167–72; Rosand, Opera in Seventeenth-Century Venice, 217, 401–5.

[15] For a discussion of the relationship between the Colonna family and Antonio Cesti see Valeria De Lucca, “L’Alcasta and the Emergence of Collective Patronage in Mid-Seventeenth-Century Rome,” The Journal of Musicology, 28, no. 2 (Spring 2011): 195–230; De Lucca, “‘Dalle sponde del Tebro,'” chapters 1–3.

[16] Beth Glixon offers an in-depth discussion of the repertory performed by Giulia Masotti in Venice in her article “Giulia Masotti, Venice, and the Rise of the Prima Donna” in this issue.

[17] Jennifer Williams Brown suggests that Giulia Masotti had possibly been behind the first production of La Dori as well, since an opera by Cavalli, very likely Scipione affricano, was replaced at the last minute by La Dori at S. Luca in 1662. I am grateful to Jennifer Williams Brown for sharing with me a passage of her unpublished introduction to the critical edition of Scipione affricano, to be published by Bärenreiter in the series Francesco Cavalli’s Operas, series editor Ellen Rosand, in preparation. See also Glixon and Glixon, Inventing the Business of Opera, 100–101.

[18] I-Vas SGSM, b. 188, fol. 292r, Gaspare Origo to Marco Faustini, October 2, 1666: “Mi ha detto che ottima resoluzione farebbero a far recitare in loco di questa l’Argia o l’Alessandro, e che quando si risolvessero di far recitar l’Argia la Sig.ra Giulia s’obligarebbe, che l’Apolloni autor dell’opera gl’aggiungerebbe e leverebbe tutte le scene che volessero.” See also Glixon and Glixon, Inventing the Business of Opera, 169, and Rosand, Opera in Seventeenth-Century Venice, 438, document no. 13.

[19] The Colonna had commissioned a copy of the score of La Dori in 1662 (Subiaco, Biblioteca di Santa Scolastica [I-SUss] Arch. Colonna, I.A.42, Spogli di liste, giornali, bilanci del maestro di casa. 1642–1665, without name): “1662 a primo settembre … per copiatura, e ligatura d’una comedia in musica detta La Dori.…scudi 9.50.” On the difficulties of finding scores see Rosand, Opera in Seventeenth-Century Venice, 402; Glixon and Glixon, Inventing the Business of Opera, 169.

[20] As Reardon has shown, Masotti did not perform in this production, even though she participated in several musical entertainments during her stay in Siena. Colleen Reardon, “The 1669 Sienese Production of Cesti’s L’Argia,” in Colleen Reardon and Susan Parisi eds., Music Observed: Studies in Memory of William C. Holmes (Warren, MI: Harmonie Park, 2004), 417–28.

[21] “Ieri sera il signor principe don Agostino mi fece chiamare ch’ero dalla signora Giulia a recapitare le lettere di Vostra Eminenza e così andai a vedere cosa voleva sua Eccellenza. E così alla presenza del signor Contestabile, signora principessa Chigi e signor cardinale Chigi, mi comandò che dovessi assieme col signore Appoloni essortare la signora Giulia d’andare a Venezia a recitare l’Argia nel teatro San Luca…. Assicuro Vostra Eminenza che questi personaggi hanno fatto preghiere grandissime e particolarmente il signor Contestabile…. Di Venezia scrivono ch’ella partisse l’intrante settimana; ma il signor Contestabile, che sa che la signora Giulia ne ha buona parte alla mente, dice che può differire qualche giorno e basta che ora a Venezia sappiano che essa anderà.” I-Rvat Arch. Chigi 280, Lettere ed avvisi da Roma di Fr. Paolo Passionei e Guido Passionei, Guido Passionei to [Sigismondo Chigi], Rome, November 17, 1668, fols. 89v–90v. Transcribed in its entirety in Tamburini, Due teatri per il principe, 103–4.

[22] Reardon, “Letters from the Road,” this issue.

[23] A Venetian production of L’Alcasta at the Teatro SS. Giovanni e Paolo did not take place until several years later, in 1676, with a revised version by Noris under the title of Astiage with a musical setting by Giovanni Bonaventura Viviani. For a detailed discussion of the genesis of this opera see De Lucca, “L’Alcasta,” 203–25.

[24] Beth Glixon, “Giulia Masotti, Venice, and the Rise of the Prima Donna,” this issue.

[25] Robert L. Weaver and Norma Wright Weaver, A Chronology of Music in the Florentine Theater, 1590–1750 (Detroit: Harmonie Park Press, 1978), 133.

[26] Weaver and Weaver, Chronology, 133–34.

[27] For the practice of music in the Roman conversazioni see Amy Brosius, “‘Il suon, lo sguardo, il canto’: Virtuose of the Roman Conversazioni in the Mid-Seventeenth Century” (Ph.D. diss., New York University, 2009).

[28] The Coresi and Giuseppe Maria Donati rehearsed operas to be sung in Venice at the Colonna Palace, as it is clear from a letter Coresi sent to Faustini (I-Vas SGSM, busta 118, Nicola Coresi to Marco Faustini, Rome, July 30, 1667, fol. 165r).

[29] A detailed discussion of the Colonna Library is forthcoming in my book The Politics of Princely Entertainment, in preparation.

[30] Reardon, “Letters from the Road,” this issue.

[31] For a detailed account of Apolloni’s life and career see Giorgio Morelli, “L’Apolloni librettista di Cesti, Stradella e Pasquini,” Chigiana 39, n.s., 19 (1988): 211–64.

[32] See the letters from Apolloni to Flavio Chigi held in the Fondo Chigi of the Vatican Library, particularly I-Rvat Arch. Chigi 1, Giovanni Filippo Apolloni to Flavio I Chigi, Siena, November 6, 1668, fol. 847r; I-Rvat Arch. Chigi 1, Giovanni Filippo Apolloni to Flavio I Chigi, Rome, October 26, 1669, fols. 851r and 1065v. See also the letter quoted in ref. 21 , and Apolloni’s role in trying to convince Masotti to sing Argia at San Luca in 1669.

[33] A transcription of this document can be found in Brunelli, “L’impresario in angustie,” 331; Rosand, Opera in Seventeenth-Century Venice, 239.

[34] “Havendo 40 versi più della Sig.ra Antonia.” I-Vas SGSM, b. 188, Marco Faustini to [Gaspare Origo], Venice, n.d. [October 1666], fols. 294r-294v. Rosand, Opera in Seventeenth-Century Venice, 239.

[35] “Per esser le parti da farsi honore non basta l’haver quantità di versi, che se fussero mille versi tutte botte e resposte, queste non si chiamon parte bone, già che lei o non lo conosce o non lo vol conoscere; non vi essendo in quella parte nè anche una riga di canzona.” I-Vas SGSM, b.188, Nicola Coresi to Marco Faustini, Rome, August 27, 1667, fol. 166r. See Brunelli, “L’impresario in angustie,” 338.

[36] “Io di presente fò disegno di un dramma per la musica, quale mi conviene comporre presto e male per comporre alla moda di Venezia e per dar nell’humori a quei curiosi che sono hormai stufi di sentir le cose a regola, ma vogliono solo delle canzoni.” In Morelli, “L’Apolloni librettista di Cesti, Stradella e Pasquini,” 224. For a discussion of adaptations of librettos “all’uso di Venezia,” see Rosand, Opera in Seventeenth-Century Venice, 156–69.

[37] Reardon, “Letters from the Road,” this issue.

[38] Lorenzo Bianconi and Thomas Walker, “Production, Consumption and Political Function of Seventeenth-Century Opera,” Early Music History 4 (1984): 212–13.

[39] “S’è fatta vedere su le scene di questo Teatro l’Argia e s’ha meritato l’applauso di tutta la città, et un pieno concorso d’udienza. S’è resa il tormento dell’opposto Teatro che è rimasto esausto; ne ha altra confidenza di risorgere che il mutar Opera. Vedrà l’E.V. come s’è abreviata l’Argia alla misura del nostro uso; non so ciò che ne parrà all’Autore: so che non v’è chi gl’opponga. Così rimbombano gl’ecchi de Teatri del nome glorioso di V.E. essendo noto, che da lei vengono queste beneficenze.” I-SUss II.CO.5, Nicolò Minato to Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna, Venice, 19 January 1668 [m.v.].

[40] Changes to L’Argia for this production might have been made by Giovanni Legrenzi, according to a payment to him of 200 ducats. See Glixon and Glixon, Inventing the Business of Opera, 172n99. There is little doubt that in referring to “the opera” Masotti meant the libretto since that is what she always sent to her patrons in Rome. Librettos were relatively cheap and easy to find, whereas scores were difficult to obtain, and it usually took a long time from the commission of a copy to the final version. It is worth noticing that Masotti’s disappointment might have been even greater since in another letter she claimed to having been “Cesti’s assistente to make sure that L’Argia goes well.” (MC 8)

[41] “Vi sentirai alcune ariette udite in altra occasione: ma perchè sia noto, che furon prese da questo Drama vi si hanno lasciate sì per essere di pochissimo numero, come anco di singolare esquisitezza. È stato ancora abbreviato, e fattavi qualche alteratione a solo ogetto d’accomodarsi alla brevità, & alle congionture delle Parti, non mai per pregiudicare alla nota Virtù di chi gli diede isquisitamente il suo primo essere.” Giovanni Filippo Apolloni, L’Argia (Venice: Francesco Nicolini, 1669), “Lettore.” See Jennifer Williams Brown, “‘Con nuove arie aggiunte’: Aria Borrowing in the Venetian Opera Repertory 1672–1685” (Ph.D. diss., Cornell University, 1992), 5 and 242, and also Rosand, Opera in Seventeenth-Century Venice, 157n9 (on the brevity of Venetian opera), 393–95.

[42] Williams Brown, “‘Con nuove arie aggiunte,'” 5, 242.

[43] Williams Brown, “‘Con nuove arie aggiunte,'” 242.

[44] Rosand, Opera in Seventeenth-Century Venice, 157n9 affirms that “the use of “all’uso di Venezia” is not altogether clear; some authors implied that it meant cutting, or adhering to “la brevità veneta.” Tenor Nicola Coresi expresses his preference for “brevità veneta” in several letters to Marco Faustini from 1667. See Rosand, Opera in Seventeenth-Century Venice, 241.

[45] See William C. Holmes, “Cesti’s ‘L’Argia’: An Entertainment for a Royal Court,” Chigiana 26/27, nuova serie 6/7 (1971): 35–52.

[46] The manuscript score of L’Argia held in Venice, Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana (I-Vnm), MS it. IV, 391, presents a version close to the libretto of the 1669 Venetian performance. It is a very clean copy with no signs of later changes or corrections, and it is available in a facsimile edition: Antonio Cesti, L’Argia, ed. Howard Mayer Brown (New York: Garland Publishing, 1978). The two manuscript scores in Naples, Biblioteca del Conservatorio di Musica San Pietro a Majella (I-Nc), MS. 33.6.17/18 and MS 33.6.12 transmit versions close to the 1655 Innsbruck libretto. For a discussion of these sources see Howard Mayer Brown, “Preface,” in Cesti, L’Argia.

[47] Ivanovich complained “che l’ariette occupino il luogo del recitativo necessario” (“that the ariette were taking the place of necessary recitative.”). Cristoforo Ivanovich, Minerva al tavolino (Venice: Pezzana, 1681), 430. See Rosand, Opera in Seventeenth-Century Venice, 395.

[48] On the homoerotic element as a characteristic of operas “all’uso di Venezia” see Wendy Heller, “The Queen as King: Refashioning ‘Semiramide’ for Seicento Venice,” Cambridge Opera Journal 5, no. 2 (July 1993): 93–114.

[49] For any future reference to L’Alcasta, see De Lucca, “L’Alcasta.”

[50] The relevant passage of this letter is reproduced in De Lucca, “L’Alcasta,” 216.

[51] Gianturco and Morelli both identify the libretto of Astiage as a modified version of Alcasta. Carolyn Gianturco, Alessandro Stradella (1639–1682): His Life and His Works (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994), 35; Morelli, “L’Apolloni,” 259. On the transformation of L’Alcasta into Astiage see Gianturco, Stradella, 35; see also Heller, “The Queen as King,” 107n32.

[52] “Solo per ubbidire con obligo a supremi comandi de parziali padroni, e per uniformarci all’uso, e genio corrente, è convenuto sopra il drama presente già sotto altro favoleggiato nome composto con maraviglia dalla penna faconda del Signor Cavalier Appoloni agionger intreccio, et in qualche parte proporzionate apparenze, rappresentandosi nel grande e sempre famoso Teatro Grimano.” Matteo Noris, Astiage (Venice: Francesco Nicolini, 1677), 5.

[53] See Wendy Heller, “The Queen as King,” 107.

[54] “Per uniformarci all’uso e genio corrente.” Matteo Noris, Astiage (Venice: Francesco Nicolini, 1677), “Benigno Lettore.”

[55] Reardon, “Letters from the Road,” this issue. Reardon rightly indicates Apolloni and Bernardo Pasquini’s La sincerità con la sincerità, overo Il Tirinto (1672) as an example of the operas performed in Rome by the Accademia degli Sfaccendati, which flourished around Prince Agostino Chigi in his palace in Ariccia. In 1673 the same Accademia staged Pietro Simone Agostini’s Gl’inganni innocenti, overo L’Adalinda. We could add Il Girello (1668) and L’empio punito (1669), performed at the Palazzo Colonna by the same circle of noble intellectuals, as further examples of the operas Sigismondo Chigi might have been used to seeing. On the Accademia degli Sfaccendati see Bianconi and Walker, “Production, Consumption and Political Function,” 252. See also Renato Lefevre, “Gli ‘Sfaccendati,'” Studi romani 8 (1960): 154–65, 288–301. On the production of Il Tirinto in Ariccia see Renato Lefevre,  “Il ‘Tirinto’ di Bernardo Pasquini all’Ariccia (1672),” in Musica e musicisti nel Lazio, ed. Renato Lefevre and Arnaldo Morelli (Rome: Palombi, 1985), 237–68; Michele Maylender, Storia delle accademie d’Italia 5 vols. (Bologna: L. Cappelli, 1926–30; reprint, Bologna: Forni, 1976), 170–71; and De Lucca “L’Alcasta,” 217–22.

[56] See Rosand, Opera in Seventeenth-Century Venice, 441, document no. 9.

[57] The authors of avvisi di Roma did not spare any detail in describing the failure of La Dori in early January 1672. For example: “Li scritti due fratelli Duca e Priore di Vandomo … dopo di essersi svogliati della visita dell’opera musicale del Teatro … hebbero a dire con mons. di Laon che non cambierebbero le loro della Corte Parigina, con le più belle di questa Romana.” I-Rvat Barb. Lat. 6408, Avvisi di Roma, January 9, 1672, fol. 28r, and later the same month: “Havendo messo da parte i Signori Comici del Teatro Musicale la Dori hanno cominciato a cantare il Seiano per veder se con esso possono far sonare i danari e s’intende vadino con questo migliorando per essere di più sodisfattione.” I-Rvat Barb. Lat. 6408, Avvisi di Roma, January 30, 1672, fol. 97v.

[58] A thorough comparison of the librettos of La Dori and L’Argia is offered by Gloria Staffieri, “‘ La reine s’amuse ‘: L’Alcasta di Apolloni e Pasquini al Tordinona (1673),” in Convegno internazionale Cristina di Svezia e la musica (Rome: Accademia dei Lincei, 1998), 21–43.

[59] For the numerous manifestations of this topos in seventeenth-century operas see Paolo Fabbri, Il secolo cantante. Per una storia del libretto d’opera nel Seicento (Bologna: Il Mulino, 1990), 161–66, 171.

[60] On the reception of Masotti as a performer see Glixon, “Giulia Masotti, Venice, and the Rise of the Prima Donna,” this issue.