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Grant number like: FA-50187-04

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Beth L. Glixon
University of Kentucky (Lexington, KY 40506-0001)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2004 – 6/30/2005

Venetian Opera Theaters of the 17th Century: A Documentary Study

My project involves archival research on the opera theaters of Venice during the seventeenth century, to be carried out, for the most part, in the Venetian State Archives (Archivio di Stato di Venezia) and in the Archivio Storico del Patriarcato di Venezia (the diocesan archive). Several books on Venetian theaters contain sections devoted to the seventeenth century, but they are based for the most part on a relatively small number of documents that provide only a limited view of the companies that operated the theaters and of the musicians and artisans who made the productions possible. I began archival work on the theaters of Venice in 1990 and during the next twelve years, in a series of trips to Venice, discovered numerous documents concerning opera companies and singers; these often revealed the tensions that could erupt between theater owners and impresarios, between impresarios and their employees, and between impresarios and the theaters' box holders. I will continue this work in 2004/05, concentrating on a number of Venetian courts, as well as on the notarial records. My previous work has shown these sources to be of enormous value, often providing new information regarding theater owners, impresarios and their financial backers, musicians, scenographers, and costumers. In some cases the court records include contracts between impresarios and musicians that do not survive in any other sources. I will also conduct research in parish and diocesan church archives in order to flesh out the lives of the impresarios and their employees. I plan to conduct this research in Venice over a seven-month period; two months will then be devoted, outside of Venice, to the writing of several articles concerning Venetian theaters.