On Potential Meanings, Musical Intertextuality and Vocal Performance in Verdi's <em>Rigoletto</em>
Searching for a way to deal with the meanings evolving from the interaction between text, music, staging and audience characteristic of the operatic performance, the article attempts to sketch the dramatic potential of Gilda from Verdi's Rigoletto. The approach assumes that a dramatic character includes 'variable' as well as 'constant' meanings, the structures of the words, actions, situations and relations being built into the construction of genres. Consequently, Gilda is first situated in the context of a genre analysis, implying that Rigoletto's grotesque mixture of comedy and tragedy is a 'constant' feature of its dramaturgy. In an attempt to show how the interpretation of the opera's mixture of genres open up toward the variable aspects of the opera, Gilda is the analysed in the context of three of the opera's intertexts: Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Molière's L'École des Femmes, and Beaumarchais' Le Barbier de Séville. Whereupon, in an attempt to examine how the dramatic potential manifests itself in the music, Gilda's aria 'Caro nome' is considered in the light of the same three dramas. The final part of the essay continues to consider the dramatic potential of the aria, but by changing the perspective from score to performance. Through the analysis of recordings by Lina Pagliughi, Maria Callas and Anna Moffo, it is demonstrated how the purely auditory aspect of opera can offer widely different approaches not only to Verdi's Gilda, but to operatic performance in general.
Nordic Theatre Studies, 2005, Vol 17, p. 24-37
Verdi vokalitet operadramaturgi opera; Verdi vocality opera "opera dramaturgy"