- Distinguished Lecture Series: Nina Treadwell
- Thu.Jan.27.2011 04:00 pm - 06:00 pm
- 1440 Schoenberg Music Building - Los Angeles
Co-sponsored by the UCLA Department of Italian
Singing Cleopatra in mid-Cinquecento Naples:
Female vocality, widowhood, and converse by and among women
Prof. Nina Treadwell
University of California, Santa Cruz
Nina Treadwell's research and publications focus on the experiential dimensions of performance and improvisation, with a particular emphasis on multi-media works. Her monograph Music and Wonder at the Medici Court: The 1589 Interludes for “La pellegrina” appeared under the imprint of Indiana University Press in 2008. The book is informed by her experience as a performer (on plucked-string instruments of the Renaissance and Baroque periods) and explores the visceral responses of audience members with regard to the confluence of aural and visual media in Florentine spectacle. Professor Treadwell's publications on Italian music of the sixteenth- and seventeenth-centuries have appeared in journals such as the Cambridge Opera Journal, Women and Music, Lute Society Journal, Musicology Australia, and Ars Aeterna, and the edited collection Gender, Sexuality, and Early Music.
During March 1588 Maria d'Aragona, the Marchesa of Vasto, sponsored a set of four intermedi at her palazzo in Chiaia, Naples. The centerpiece of the entertainment was the intermedio entitled "Queen Cleopatra on her ship". This paper explores d'Aragona's role as sponsor of the entertainment, particularly in relation to her interest in the historical figure of Cleopatra. Drawing on sources that informed perceptions of the Egyptian queen during the early- to mid-Cinquecento, it will be shown that within a performance context governed by a strong-willed female patron, the often pejoratively depicted Cleopatra could be cast as a positive role model, particularly for d'Aragona-related noblewomen who themselves had experienced strong female mentorship and enjoyed the relative autonomy of widowhood. D'Aragona's decision to cast the Neapolitan virtuosa Eufemia Jozola as Cleopatra reinforced the female-oriented nature of the intermedio, given that a cross-dressed male singer would have typically performed the role. In this presentation we offer one possible realization of the modes of vocality for which Jozola was renowned.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Room 1440, Schoenberg Music Building
This event is sponsored in part by the Center for Student Programming
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