Francesco Cavalli - Opere
In recent decades, the operas of Francesco Cavalli (1602–1676) have attracted an increased interest from theatres around the world, an interest stimulated in part by the overwhelming popular success of the operas of Claudio Monteverdi, Cavalli’s great predecessor and teacher. Whereas Monteverdi’s extant operas are only three, Cavalli’s number nearly thirty. Indeed, he was the most prolifi c and important opera composer of the seventeenth century, and it was his works that set the stage for the subsequent development of opera as a genre.
Cavalli’s operas, which share some of the most outstanding features of Monteverdi’s, provide a treasure trove of material waiting to be performed. The new critical edition Francesco Cavalli – Opere will attempt to fi ll the need for reliable sourcebased editions as well as dependable performance materials. It is also designed to encourage productions of operas that have not yet been resurrected in modern times.
The source situation in general is both ameliorated and further complicated by the existence of multiple librettos for most of the works. The librettos, which suggest multiple productions of the operas, are an essential part of this edition, aiding the understanding of the various editorial annotations in the extant scores. Indeed, because of the paucity of musical sources, the textual edition can often refl ect more about the reception of the opera than the score does. For this reason, each individual opera will have a text editor as well as a music editor.
Editorial challenges posed by Cavalli’s operas differ profoundly from those involved in editing later operas. Providing usable performing material thus requires the intervention of specialist editors who understand the implications of the scores and can fl esh them out – or supply performers with the means of doing so themselves – with appropriate additional material.
By publishing scholarly-critical editions that are designed for scholars and performers alike, we hope to satisfy and stimulate the interest in these works. They demonstrate for the first time in history the ways in which the vicissitudes of theatrical life were managed in the production of operas on a regular basis.