A new book by professor emerita of musicology in the Hugh Hodgson School of music Dorothea Link gets up close with the Vienna court opera of the late 1700s. The Italian Opera Singers in Mozart's Vienna is available now from the University of Illinois Press:
Dorothea Link examines singers’ voices and casting practices in late eighteenth-century Italian opera as exemplified in Vienna’s court opera from 1783 to 1791. The investigation into the singers’ voices proceeds on two levels: understanding the performers in terms of the vocal-dramatic categories employed in opera at the time; and creating vocal profiles for the principal singers from the music composed expressly for them. In addition, Link contextualizes the singers within the company in order to expose the court opera's casting practices.
Authoritative and insightful, The Italian Opera Singers in Mozart's Vienna offers a singular look at a musical milieu and a key to addressing the performance-practice problem of how to cast the Mozart roles today.
Publication of the book was supported by a grant from the General Publications Fund of the American Musicological Society, supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the UGA Willson Center for Humanities and Arts.