Boethius, Dante, and the Musico-Literary Beginnings of the First Opera

Presented by Juliana Chapman
Postdoctoral Fellow, Pennsylvania State University

Monday, November 14, 2016 | 12:30-1:30pm
Lattie F. Coor Hall, Room 4403
ASU Tempe Campus
Free and open to the public

Eventbrite - Boethius, Dante, and the Musico-Literary Beginnings of the First Opera

Growing out of the close relationship between the arts of rhetoric and music, the late medieval and renaissance periods exhibited a persistent interest in an interdisciplinary perspective on music theory, performance, and literature. This can be seen, in part, in the development of opera as a musico-literary form, and in the proliferation of literary texts engaging music theory, particularly that of Boethius (d. 524 CE). Boethian music has often been studied, but the ways in which it was incorporated by Dante in La Commedia, and later by Monteverdi in the first opera, L’Orfeo, itself influenced by Dante’s work, have been largely overlooked. Read together, Dante and Monteverdi demonstrate a shared perspective on classical Boethian music theory as it is appropriated and reimagined in the medieval and renaissance periods.

Dr. Juliana Chapman is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Comparative Literature at Pennsylvania State University. Her primary research interests are medieval and renaissance literature and culture, musicology, book history, and interdisciplinary studies. Her recent scholarship includes an article on music in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, “Melodye and Noyse: an Aesthetic of Musica in The Knight's Tale and The Miller's Tale” (Studies in Philology, Fall 2015), and current projects on Spenser, Beowulf, and Dante, respectively.