Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Staging the Translation of Opera as a Medium of (Sub)version: Portuguese Appropriation of Italian Melodrama in the 18th century

Daniela Di Pasquale


In the 18th century a large number of Portuguese stages used translations of Italian opera as a possibility to refine the critical abilities of their audience. In fact, in the public theatres of Lisbon, all kinds of creative misrepresentations through the adaptation of Italian libretti were possible through the introduction of folk and common characters like the graciosos, servants or other plebeian members of the society. The particular context in which this character is created within Portugal, not in an autochthonous dramatic literature, but within a very codified genre already famous across Europe, allow us to interpret the gracioso’s function as a destabilization of the values and hierarchy of the society

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