Stage design for Sacrati's opera La finta pazza in Paris engraved by Nicolas (or Noël) Cochin after the drawing by Giacomo Torelli. Giacomo TORELLI.
Stage design for Sacrati's opera La finta pazza in Paris engraved by Nicolas (or Noël) Cochin after the drawing by Giacomo Torelli

Stage design for Sacrati's opera La finta pazza in Paris engraved by Nicolas (or Noël) Cochin after the drawing by Giacomo Torelli

[Paris]: [1645]. 234 x 307 mm. On laid paper with watermark of grapes and initials "M D"[?].

The design depicts a grand palace entrance lined with Doric columns with five figures in the foreground and a number in the background.

Repairs to corners; small nicks to edges.

From the collection of the distinguished American mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne (b. 1934).

Somewhat worn; a few light stains; right corners with paper repair; trimmed to just inside platemark; hinge mount to verso.

IFF XVII:3, p. 64, 740. Bianchi: Feste theatrali per La finta pazza (Paris, 1645); there is disagreement about whether the engraving is by Noël Cochin (1622-1695) or his brother Nicolas (1610-1686).

Giacomo Torelli was one of the most important stage designers of the early Baroque, contributing to the success of opera's spectacular nature. His most revolutionary invention was a set of machinery that allowed the entire scene to be changed at once; the action could thus proceed at a much quicker pace than previously possible. After working in Venice, Torelli was brought to Paris, where he installed his machinery in the Palais Royal and the Hôtel du Petit Bourbon. It was in the latter that, in 1645, Torelli designed the sets for a choreographed production of Francesco Sacrati's La finta pazza (1641), the first public performance of an Italian opera in France.

"Torelli’s sets created a concrete, clearly defined area which, whatever its symbolic significance, attempted to represent a milieu with a particular character. Such a conception was appropriate to the small ensemble scenes of Venetian opera and met the increasing preference for historical subjects and the realistic tendencies fostered by the growing influence of middle-class audiences. The rhythmic articulation of the stage by the transverse and longitudinal lines of the sets, an approach shared by other Venetian designers such as Giovanni Burnacini, focussed attention on the acting zone and enhanced the development of the design of interiors. An almost completely enclosed room appeared for the first time in a production of Sacrati’s Bellerofonte (1642), the starting-point of the architectural visions of operatic production in the late Baroque period." Manfred Boetzkes in Grove Dictionary of Opera.

"Horne had a voice of extraordinary range, rich and tangy in timbre, with a stentorian chest register and an exciting top... In concert she once achieved the feat of singing in a single programme Rossini arias and Brünnhilde’s Immolation Scene, proof of her exceptional versatility. Throughout her lengthy career she was an admired recitalist, singing lieder, mélodies, Spanish and American songs with equal aplomb." Alan Blyth in Grove Music Online. Item #31506

Price: $850.00  other currencies

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