DM, Doctor of Music
Treatise - Open Access
College of Music
Committee Chair - Douglas Fisher
Committee Member - Matthew Lata
Committee Member - Stanford Olsen
Outside Committee Member - Raymond Fleming
The purpose of this project is to investigate the influence of eighteenth-century political life on Pietro Metastasio and his writing. This treatise will address questions like: What were the reforms Metastasio made in the structure of opera libretti? How did Metastasio’s philosophical bent affect his writing? To what extent are Metastasio’s libretti veiled propaganda written to aid Charles VI in his political endeavors? This paper will explore possible answers to these question through a close investigation of Metastasio’s libretto, La clemenza di Tito.
The opening chapter gives a short biographical overview of Metastasio’s life. Chapter II deals with the various influences on Metastasio’s literary philosophy. In Chapter III the plot of La clemenza di Tito is analyzed in the context of contemporary issues and events surrounding the composition of the original libretto in 1734. An attempt is made to understand the drama from the perspective of its intended audience, Charles VI and the Viennese social elite.
By examining the work in this way, subtle and perhaps hidden meanings are revealed that would not otherwise be apparent to a modern audience. An understanding of this libretto, and its meaning in the context of contemporary politics, informs our understanding of Metastasio’s role in Viennese court life, and in a broader sense, his role in eighteenth-century European culture.
Kirkpatrick, David Adam, "The Role of Metastasio’s Libretti in the Eighteenth Century: Opera as Propaganda" (2005). Electronic Theses, Treatises and Dissertations. Paper 2883.