Parole del Metastasio: Opera and Emotions in Eighteenth-century Europe

Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Biblioteca Histórica Marqués de Valdecilla | 4-7 May, 2022

Due to the COVID pandemic, the dates and location of the conference were changed.

In eighteenth-century Europe, Metastasio’s work marked poetic, musical, and cultural boundaries within which the production of sung music developed for more than a hundred years. His vision of the world, and of human relationships and passions, influenced not only the hundreds of composers who ventured the musical setting of his lyrics, but also all other poets inspired by his words for music.

Given the unparalleled impact of Metastasio’s texts in operatic composition throughout the eighteenth century, complete exploration of the librettist’s figure requires attending to the myriads of musical versions prompted by the emotions expressed in his lyrics. Therefore, we warmly invite presentations investigating the relationship between text and music around Metastasian passions, with especial attention to the dramaturgical and musical treatment thereof within his recitatives and closed pieces. We particularly encourage papers using novel methodologies for the study of the librettist’s world, including digital, computer-assisted techniques for data extraction from both music and poetry.

This symposium is an expression of the European Research Council project DIDONE. The Sources of Absolute Music: Mapping Emotions in Eighteenth-Century Italian Opera, directed by Álvaro Torrente at the Instituto Complutense de Ciencias Musicales (Universidad Complutense de Madrid). It will coincide with the representation of Francesco Corselli’s setting of Metastasio’s Achille in Sciro in the Teatro Real in Madrid.

Proposals for individual papers (20-minute long, followed by 10-minute discussion) must be submitted as Word files (.pdf is not accepted). Each proposal must include the following information:

  • Presenter’s name
  • Title
  • Abstract (max. 350 words)
  • Short bio (max. 150 words)
  • Institutional affiliation
  • E-mail address

The official languages of the conference are Italian, English, and Spanish.

Proposals must be sent to the email address by 30 December, 2021, and will be evaluated by 1 January 2022.

Scientific committee
  • Álvaro Torrente
  • Andrea Sommer-Mathis
  • Jose María Domínguez
  • Ana Llorens
  • Nicola Usula
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