THE 'COMICI ITALIANI' ENSEMBLE AT THE WARSAW COURT OF AUGUSTUS III
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The 'comici italiani' troupes, active both in their native land and in many countries of the 17th- and 18th-century Europe, specialized in performing 'commedia dell'arte' and, at a later stage, Italian literary comedies. Although strictly musical works were rare in their repertory, music, singing and dance played a significant role, whereas the intermezzi and the operas presented by these companies constitute characteristic variants of the genre. The paper provides abundant source material on the subsequent visits of the ensemble of 'comici italiani' of Augustus III in Warsaw (1738-1739; 1740; 1748-9; 1754), its actors, repertoire (among others Carlo Goldoni's plays and a satirical opera by Salvatore Apollini) and the circumstances surrounding their performances. The authoress argues that the Warsaw repertoire shows the beginning of a conflict between the improvised comedy and the literary comedy represented by the great achievements of Goldoni and his imitators, and that the theatres of Augustus III, both in Warsaw and in Dresden, were among the first do disseminate the latter genre north of the Alps.
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