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date: 28 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter outlines how a fundamental crisis arose in Italian opera houses by 1900, shaped by the focus on canonic repertory as it was defined by the leading theaters and music publishers. Planning of repertory became focused on specific kinds of operas—in effect a canonic typology—from which a work was chosen as appropriate to a specific season or social context. Eventually, this repertory came to be perceived as finite, establishing certain canonic types as standard choices for the organization of a theater’s repertory or a publisher’s list. The leading such framework took shape most significantly in Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, devised by publishers and glorified by key artists, most significantly the conductor Arturo Toscanini. This chapter is paired with Carlotta Sorba’s “Theaters, markets, and canonic implications in the Italian opera system, 1820–1880.”

Keywords: Giuseppe Verdi, Arturo Toscanini, Teatro alla Scala, copyright laws, impresario, music publisher, opera industry, Giulio Ricordi, Edoardo Sonzogno, Guido Gatti-Casazza

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