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Event Details

Mon, April 30, 2018

18:00 – 19:00

Villa La Pietra
Via Bolognese, 120
50139 Firenze, Italia

A talk by music scholar Matteo Sansone.

In his Filosofia della musica (1836), Giuseppe Mazzini claimed that opera, and the operatic chorus in particular, could be a great resource in building up a national consciousness and stirring  patriotic commitment. La battaglia di Legnano  was premiered in Rome in January 1849, in the middle of a popular uprising with  Garibaldi’s support which  led to the proclamation of the short-lived ‘Repubblica Romana’. No matter how remote its subject (in 1176 the League of Northern Italian cities defeated the German emperor Frederick Barbarossa at Legnano), the choruses  and solo numbers of the four-act opera sounded perfectly attuned to the ongoing struggle.

Featured Biographies

Matteo Sansone


Matteo Sansone studied piano and composition at the Conservatorio S. Pietro a Majella, Naples, and graduated in English from the Istituto Universitario Orientale. He received his PhD from Edinburgh University where he also taught for many years. He taught Italian at the University of Malta and at St. Andrews University. His main research areas are late-nineteenth and early twentieth-century Italian opera with a focus on Verismo, and the relationship between opera and literature. His essays have appeared in «Music & Letters», «California Italian Studies», «Civiltà Musicale», «Early Music». He has co-authored a book on Italian and Maltese Music (Malta, 2001) and has written entries for The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, International Dictionary of Opera, Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart. He taught “Italian Opera” at NYU Florence for many years.