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Grant number like: FA-52142-05

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Andreas Giger
Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, LA 70808-4600)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

$24,000 (approved)
$24,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2005 – 12/31/2005

Versification, Stanzaic Theory, and Melodic Aesthetics in Giuseppe Verdi's Operas

This project explores the structural significance of the libretto for the stylistic and dramatic development of nineteenth-century French and Italian opera. Focusing on Verdi's French works, it will show that nineteenth-century rhythmic interpretations of French verse and stanza provide a key to the way in which composers brought their works in line with an increasingly prominent French melodic aesthetic. The selection of a specific rhythmic interpretation depended in part on a passage's dramatic function, suggesting a "rhetoric of prosody." These aspect of opera have so far been ignored, but they played a crucial role in the transition from Romantic opera to Verismo opera and reflect similar tendencies in other genres, especially the play.