DOI: https://doi.org/10.31318/2522-4190.2020.129.219722

Luigi Buonavolya’s Opera Company Paradox in Odesa: Stage Success Against the Background of Theatrical Management Problems

Kostyantyn Batsak

Abstract


The relevance of the paper. The activity of the Italian private theatrical management in Odesa in the early period of the city history is an important page of its cultural progress, connected to extraordinary influence on the artistic life of people from European countries, including Italians. At that time the cultural and artistic relations between Odesa and the Italian centers of theatrical life such as Bologna, Florence, and later — Milan, began to develop actively. With a large European diaspora, Odesa created European samples in many areas of urban life — in everyday life, social behavior, fashion, education, art. Italian opera occupied a prominent place in the theatrical life of the young Black Sea city almost since the very theatre opening. It became a certain element of its cultural development for many years. The structure of the theatrical engagement, ways of forming the opera repertoire, requirements for vocal performance, forms of the artistes’ and musicians’ communication with the audience developed during the first opera managements, included the L. Buonavolya’s enterprises, in the main characteristics.

The objectives of the study are to reconstruct the L. Buonavolya’s creative biography, to investigate his professional activity in the context of his Italian troupe scenic success in conditions of musical and theatrical life formation, foreign engagement becoming in Odesa.

The methodology involves the semiotic-hermeneutic method (to analyze the peculiarities of scenic directing, the specifics of musical-critical thought, the audience reactions and preferences as a text of culture and its hermeneutic comprehension); bio-bibliographical method (for clarifying and combining the facts of Italian singers’, impresario’s life and creative activity in Italy and abroad, in particular, in Ukraine); cultural-historical method (allows to study L. Buonavolya Italian troupe scenic activities as a social phenomenon, that contributed to the dissemination of Italian opera achievements in the local musical and theatrical environment).

Findings and conclusions. The activity of one of the first theatrical managements in Odesa theatre history, L. Buonavolya’s management is investigated. The music and theatre centers in the Apennines, where the first Odesa Italian enterprises formed, the way and route of the artistes’ movement, their personal composition, the scenic performances experience in the previous period have been considered.

L. Buonavolya’s biography has been studied as well as his work as an opera librettist in Italy and abroad. His connections with the European musical and theatrical environment have been investigated.

The organizational components of management have been revealed. The entrepreneur and city authority relations legal regulations shortcomings, theatre financing and its material supporting, necessary conditions for artistes’ and musicians’ residence, troupe stage performances providing negative factors have been shown.

Financial subsidies to the Italian enterprise from the city and regional authorities, caused by necessity to preserve the “European” socio-cultural environment in Odesa, inhabited by people from Western Europe, the local aristocracy desire to simulate the European fashion samples and to reproduce the European “high world” representatives’ everyday life traditions have been verified.

The opera repertoire is systematized, G. Rossini’s and his contemporaries’ works predominance in its structure have been established. Based on publications in the local and Italian press, the vocal characteristics of the troupe soloists’ voices, their artistic mergers, popularity among the local audience reason have been reflected. Mutual dependence between the architectural transformations in the interior of the theatre and changes in the social structure of Odesa theatrical audience, which was, first of all, connected with the traditions of theatrical activity, initiated by M. Vorontsov and his environment have been investigated.


Keywords


L. Buonavolya’s theatrical management; Odesa Italian opera; musical and theatrical environment; opera engagement; opera repertoire

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