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See R. View all notes and whose leader was the patrician Gian Francesco Loredan — View all notes The Accademia degli Incogniti was the main promoter of early Venetian opera in its first years and several of its members even penned the very first libretti, keen as they were to explore new literary genres.

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But despite his prodigious and experimental literary production and despite the fact that in Venice he witnessed the very birth of commercial opera, no single opera libretto by Ferrante is known. Ferrante Pallavicino Figure 1 was born in Piacenza in into an ancient aristocratic family, among whose members we find other writers and artists. Pallavicino, Storia del Concilio. View all notes Another relative of Ferrante was the composer Benedetto Pallavicino ca.

A portrait of Ferrante Pallavicino, as it appears in Loredan?


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Le glorie de gli Incogniti , Figure 1. Indeed, he devoted a great deal of his creative energies to explicitly denouncing the international politics of Pope Urban VIII, known to the world as Maffeo Barberini, and his hated family in works such as Il Corriero svaligiato or La Baccinata Spironcini [F. Pallavicino], Il Corriero svaligiato and [id. If the former was issued under a pseudonym, the latter was published anonymously and s. View all notes But eventually, a Frenchman hired by the papal nuncio in Venice, Francesco Vitelli, lured him with a stratagem into the papal territory of Avignon in , where he was immediately captured and interrogated, before being summarily executed a year later at the age of just The fact that Ferrante died for his deeply ingrained and staunch libertinism would have the indirect consequence of making him an iconic figure and martyr of Free Thought for many esprits forts throughout Europe and especially in France.

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These appeared shortly after his demise, though they were backdated in order to elude censorship. In the dialogues, the author imagines that the soul of the recently deceased Ferrante visits his friends during the night engaging them in a personal reflection on life and contemporary political and social events. In the end, this is little more than an excuse once again to air his heterodox views on politics, social mores and religion. For the relationship between Loredan and Pallavicino, see in part. View all notes. Of the numerous novels, political pamphlets and satirical writings published by Ferrante during his tumultuous and brief life, there are a few which show interesting parallels to libretti of some early drammi per musica by Incogniti authors.

In Ferrante published his novel La rete di Vulcano with Guerigli. Pallavicino, La rete di Vulcano. View all notes This work was very successful, like many by the author, and it enjoyed several posthumous reprints.


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See Pallavicino, La rete di Vulcano , ff. View all notes Typical for baroque novels of this age, especially for novels and tales of Incogniti authors, the narration teems with erotic and sometimes quite graphic details. Another possible, more direct source for Busenello could have been Pona, but even here : see Lattarico, Busenello satirico. Faustini, La Calisto drama. If the themes of disguise, deceit, dissimulation and, ultimately, transvestism are not an infrequent ingredient of early Venetian musical drama, they form the very backbone of the action in La finta pazza by Giulio Strozzi, the inaugurating opera for the Teatro Novissimo , with music by Francesco Sacrati.

Strozzi, La finta pazza. In fact, it was only due to his camouflage that Deidamia and Achille had been able to enjoy their romantic liaison unchallenged under the very nose of her father Licomede. Rosand, Opera in Seventeenth-Century Venice , View all notes by Maiolino Bisaccioni, with music, now lost, by Giovanni Rovetta. Bisaccioni, Ercole in Lidia. View all notes Here, even the name of one of the main characters is itself a disguise.

The masquerade of homosexual love is heightened by Rodopea actually having been played by a woman, the star singer and actress Anna Renzi, who indeed had also played the role of Deidamia. See Pallavicino, Il Principe hermafrodito.

This is of course not to say that the topic of transvestism was in and of itself new, being also partly current in 16th-century theatre. In this case, however, the forced transvestism is masterminded by her mother, who wants to avoid that the king her husband put in execution his cruel plan of killing his female offspring.

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I am grateful to Prof. Lorenzo Bianconi for these two bibliographical suggestions. View all notes By this time, Ferrante was well-known in Venice, having already published several successful works there, and, as we already noted, being well connected with some of the most influential literary figures of the city.

He must also have been popular within musical circles because of his Incognito status and the role of the Accademia in the dissemination and propagation of the first important drammi per musica. Indeed, between and he was a regular guest in the veglie of the Accademia degli Unisoni , held in the home of Giulio Strozzi, which he had established in order to launch the career of his highly musically talented adopted daughter Barbara and most of whose members, like Giulio himself, were also Incogniti.

Moreover, as suggested by Urbinati, we have some indications that he had fallen in love with her. Urbinati, Ferrante Pallavicino , Thus, it is not implausible that his highly acclaimed and later controversial novel, Il principe hermafrodito , might have proven influential on at least some opera libretti of Incogniti authors. See Muir, The Culture Wars , But Bisaccioni seems to have been particularly taken by the topic of transvestism himself, since this is also a central aspect of the plot of his Semiramide in India , where the disorientation is compounded by Semiramide exchanging her identity with her son Nino.

View all notes Here Tibrino is in love with Eganetide, who has received a marriage proposal from Argirote, the King of Scotland. I don't expect all short stories to end with a twist, of course, but to not have been left hanging every time would've been nice. Jonathan Holt The Abomination : Book One of the Carnivia Trilogy A woman is found murdered in a priest's robes on the steps of the Salute on a new Carabinieri officer's first day, a US Army lieutenant starts her new job at a huge base near Venice and an internet wiz famous for creating Carnivia - a virtual Venice where people can meet and swap information off the grid - is facing prison for daring to make this possible.

What links these plot strands? Well, pretty soon we get intimations of conspiracy and concealment. And black magic and Bosnia. As the big fish are identified and the red herrings fall by the way this opener for a new series pretty much lives up to its ambitions, I must say. It's contemporary the Edward Snowden-like figure could not be more timely with a good and page-turning plot, and has a light and true touch with its lead female protagonists that even descends to fashion observations and the bandying of labels.

But things gradually get global and scary - the title and the billing as part of a series don't really prepare you for where this book goes.


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Harrowing is not too strong a word, especially as the facts of the use of rape during the war in former Yugoslavia become central. This is nearer to Stieg Larsson than Dan Brown or Donna Leon, with added techno touches, but really makes a fresh mixture all its own. Venice may well have been chosen as a location to make more resonant the anonymity and mask-wearing aspect of the virtual version, but its location and locations are cunningly well used.

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I liked, and wait keenly for more, even if the website www. The Abduction : Book Two of the Carnivia Trilogy The second book begins with a teenage girl, the daughter of a US Major, kidnapped from a sex club and bundled in a van. At the same time protesters break into the controversial site of a new US military base and a human skeleton is found.

Kat Tapo of the Venice Carabinieri in the professional doghouse after the last novel gets forgiven enough to be given the first case, and Colonel Aldo Piola in the marital doghouse after the last novel is thought to be a subtle enough operator to cope with the second. The plot evolves fast and smooth, and full of conspiracies to believe in and failures of justice to get angry about.

The characters are believably flawed and human and I want to know what happens to them in the next book. The Venice detailing is sparse but authentic, with a lot of the action out of town. A male person gets locked up in the famous vegetable-growing prison in the old convent of The Convertite which I had thought was women only. Book three, The Traitor, came out in May But in paperback now December seems to have been retitled The Absolution , to match more closely the titles of the other two, presumably.

Maxim Jakubowski ed. In black and white. I'm guessing a looser definition is going to apply in this collection. Editor Jakubowski introduces and then we're into the first section - four stories involving Venetian residents. They're all written by Italians and being about people still living in Venice have a tendency towards Mestre and Cannaregio.

The Ghetto recurs too, as does casual racism, if in the distancing guise of unreliable narrators.

The anti-Chinese tendency here is in keeping with Venetian authenticity unfortunately. Each story is better than its predecessor, in style and content, with the final author, Francesca Mazzucato even making you want to read more by her.