Musical dramaturgy

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course develops students' aptitude to understand and interpret different kinds of music in different music genres and media contexts (theatre music, opera, cinema, etc.). It also aims to encourage them to develop what we could call a "dramaturgical listening" or, to say it in other words, a "dramaturgical awareness" of how music can contribute to define characters, generate action, establish atmosphere (etc.) in a broad range of dramatic genres and media.
The main learning scope of the course of musical dramaturgy/dramaturgy of sound is to enable students to relate their musical ear with the listening to music in an intermedial environment.
Expected learning outcomes
By the end of the course, students will be able to understand the dramatic functions of music in theatre, opera, cinema, etc., with reference to the monographic subject explored each new academic year.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
The lessons will take place online via «Teams», in a live streaming situation. The students will find all the instructions on how to access the classroom or the online lessons (links etc.), any potential variations to the program and/or to the reference materials (bibliography etc.) on the website for classroom resources «Ariel». In case it would not possible taking the exam as shown in the Syllabus, the exam will be conducted electronically using the procedure that will be communicated on the Ariel website at the end of the course.
Course syllabus
Title of the course (2020-2021 A.Y.):
Opera/Adaptation/Remediation: The Case of La Traviata.

The course focuses on a number of adaptations and remediations of Verdi's La Traviata and it is divided in three parts (A-C).
A) The first part is centered in the analysis and interpretation of two Regietheater productions: the Willy Decker's Traviata for the Salisbury Festival (2005), available on DVD (Deutsche Grammophon) and that of Peter Konwitschny for Graz Opera House (2011), also available on DVD (Arthaus Musik).
B) The second part focuses on two film-operas of Verdi's La Traviata: that of Mario Lanfranchi (1966) and that of Franco Zeffirelli (1982). Both are available on DVD (Video Artist International and Deutsche Grammophon, respectively).
C) The third part focuses on two significant intermedial cases: a cinematic free adaptation of Verdi's La Traviata and another free adaptation for the stage: Moulin Rouge! By Baz Luhrmann (2001) and Traviata: vous méritez un avenir meilleur by Benjamin Lazar (2008). Both are available on DVD (Fox Video and Bel Air Classiques, respectively).
Prerequisites for admission
Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the course, students need a basic knowledge of the music, opera, theatre, and cinema history. So, it is advisable that students choose Musical Dramaturgy after having attended two or three of the afore mentioned courses.
Teaching methods
The course will take place online via «Teams», in a live streaming situation, and will draw on the «Ariel» platform for sharing materials and teaching aids.
Teaching Resources
The class will be supported by the reading materials and other digital contents, which will be uploaded to the course's website on the Ariel platform ( The materials and digital contents are intended for study only. They are an integral part of the program, together with the bibliography of the course.

Materials for all the units:
- Linda Hutcheon, Teoria degli adattamenti. I percorsi delle storie fra letteratura, cinema, nuovi media, Roma, Armando, 2011, pp. 19-59 (the first chapter only: Per una teoria degli adattamenti: Che cosa? Chi? Perché? Dove? Quando?).
- Alexandre Dumas junior, La signora delle camelie (1848), orig. ed. La dame aux camélias. Any edition will do as long as it is a full version.
- Verdi's La traviata: Any recording will do, as long as it is a full recording.

Unit A
-Giuseppe Verdi, La traviata, stage direction by Willy Decker, video directed by Brian Large, a Salzburg Festival production (2005), DVD published by Deutsche Grammophon.
- Giuseppe Verdi, La traviata, stage direction by Peter Konwitschny, video directed by Myriam Hoyer, a Graz Opera House production (2011), DVD della Arthaus Musik.
- Clemens Risi, Opera in Performance: "Regietheater" and Performative Turn, in «The Opera Quarterly», vol. 35, 1-2, 2019, pp. 7-19 (available on Unimi Digital Library).
- Emanuele Senici, Il video d'opera "dal vivo": testualizzazione e liveness nell'era digitale, in «Il Saggiatore musicale», vol. 16, fasc. 2, 2009, pp. 273-312 (available on Unimi Digital Library).
- Emanuele Senici, Storia mediale dell'opera e retorica della fedeltà, in Giuseppe Verdi: dalla musica alla messinscena, ed. by Franco Piperno et alii, Parma, Istituto nazionale di studi verdiani, 2015, pp. 114-119.

Unità B
- Giuseppe Verdi, La traviata, film-opera by Mario Lanfranchi (1966). DVD published by VAI (Video Artists International).
- Giuseppe Verdi, La traviata, film-opera by Franco Zeffirelli (1982). DVD published by Deutsche Grammophon.
- Marta Citron, Opera on Screen, New Haven, Yale University Press, 2000, pp. 20-68 e 251-257 (endnotes) (only the chapter entitled A Stroll to History).
- Alberto Scandola, Violetta sullo schermo. Dialettica tra canto e performance in tre adattamenti audiovisivi di Traviata, in Attori all'opera. Coincidenze e tangenze tra recitazione canto lirico, ed. by Simona Brunetti and Nicola Pasqualicchio, Bari, Edizioni di Pagina, 2015, pp. 159-173.
- Marco Marica, Violetta superstar, in La traviata, Venezia, La Fenice's Program Book, season 2002-2003, 2, pp. 85-104 (available online).

Unità C
- Baz Luhrmann, Moulin Rouge!, movie musical (2001). DVD published by Fox Video.
- Traviata: vous méritez un avenir meilleur, stage adaptation of Verdi's La Traviata, stage direction by Benjamin Lazar, video directed by Corentin Leconte (2018). DVD published by Bel Air Classiques.
- Emilio Sala, The Sounds of Paris in Verdi's La traviata, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2913, pp. 1-15 (Prelude), 59-105 (Images and sounds in waltz (and polka) time), pp. 106-165 (Motifs of reminiscence and musical dramaturgy), and pp. 164-174 (Coda).
- Elizabeth Hudson, Moulin Rouge! and the Boundaries of Opera, in «The Opera Quarterly», vol. 27, 2-3, 2011, pp. 256-281 (available on Unimi Digital Library).
- Matteo Quattrocchi, Il passato come "avvenir migliore": sovraimpressioni mediali nella Traviata di Benjamin Lazar, forthcoming paper (2020).
Assessment methods and Criteria
The assessment procedure consists of an oral exam on the topics developed during the course, by mark expressed on (the threshold to pass the exam) to the maximum of 30 (cum laude).
Unita' didattica A
L-ART/07 - MUSICOLOGY AND HISTORY OF MUSIC - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica B
L-ART/07 - MUSICOLOGY AND HISTORY OF MUSIC - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica C
L-ART/07 - MUSICOLOGY AND HISTORY OF MUSIC - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Educational website(s)