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date: 24 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Since its inception, opera has often been produced in closely controlled contexts, in which rulers and other agents exert considerable control over all aspects of operatic production. That control often extends to the subject matter and verbal content of opera, selected, altered, or suppressed by political or religious authorities in a variety of contexts. This chapter surveys extant scholarship on the censorship of opera and examines examples drawn from different historical periods and milieux, concentrating in particular on Risorgimento Italy. La lega lombarda, a libretto by Antonio Meucci written for Rome in 1846 and published in Paris after its performance was prohibited for political reasons, is used as a case study to explore the productive ramifications of operatic censorship. In many instances, the latter is best understood as displacement rather than mere suppression.

Keywords: censorship, Italy, Risorgimento, political, religious, Meucci, La lega lombarda

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