research project started in May 2009 under the title Italian Opera
buffa on the Viennese Stage (1763-1773). It was initially based
at Vienna's University of Music and Performing Arts and later moved
to the Institute of Musicology at the University of Vienna in Spring
2010. In Summer 2012 the FWF granted a prolongation of the project
under the present title.
subject of the research project consists of Opere buffe which
were originally created and premiered at theatres in other cities
(mostly Venice or Rome) and subsequently imported to Vienna between
1763 and 1782, where they were performed in modified versions.
Such operas were for the most part very successful, for example
settings of Goldoni's librettos by Baldassarre Galuppi or Niccolò
Piccinni as well as earlier comic operas by Giovanni Paisiello
or Pasquale Anfossi. The persons responsible for the Viennese
adaptations were primarily the local opera directors Florian Gassmann
and later Antonio Salieri, many of whose insertion numbers can
be found in Vienna libraries.
Special attention is devoted to the singers involved in the Viennese
productions. Among these top performers such as Clementina Baglioni,
Francesco Carattoli or Filippo Laschi, are especially taken into
account, since they played a crucial role in the importation and
diffusion of the works. Their careers and artistic skills are
to be seen as interrelated with these individual performances.
Department of Music of the Austrian National Library preserves
numerous manuscript scores which reflect the 'Viennese versions'
of the Opere buffe that are to be examined. They constitute -
besides the libretti adapted for the stages of Vienna - the substantial
basis of source material and have to be compared with sources
connected with other performances: in a first step, the libretti
of the premieres and, if available, the relevant autographs. In
a further step, a comparison will be drawn with the performances
that are supposedly or actually related to the Viennese productions,
for example through a singer who participated in an earlier staging
and was later engaged in Vienna.
goal of the project consists of an accurate investigation of the
Viennese versions and the analysis of the adaptations, which should
be considered within a broader context. In this way, not only
are the specific performance conditions on Viennese stages in
the time of Maria Theresia and Joseph II. taken into account,
but also the whole reception history of selected works and hence,
the transformation processes Opera buffa underwent in the 18th