Odiare il fratello. L’opera in musica Eteocle e Polinice e il suo rapporto con la Tebaide di Stazio


Ilaria Ottria


The purpose of this article is to analyze Giovanni Legrenzi’s Eteocle and Polinice, with a special focus on the libretto of three acts composed by Tebaldo Fattorini. This opera, which is traditionally recorded as having premiered in 1675 at the San Salvator Theatre in Venice, became so popular that it was performed later in other Italian cities, such as Milan and Modena. Although Fattorini cites Statius’ Thebaid as his major reference point in the prefatory material of the libretto, Eteocle and Polinice shows many significant departures from the ancient literature. On the one hand, several important characters are deeply reinvented, especially if we make a comparison between Statius’ poem and Fattorini’s opera; on the other hand, this play ends with a lieto fine, which shows author’s consciousness of popular taste and his wish to please it. As a result, Eteocle and Polinice can be considered emblematic of the ways in which artists of the 17th and 18th centuries often handled classical texts and subjects. Since Baroque entertainment wanted to please the audience, rather than to educate it, Fattorini built a new plot, based not only on classical models, but also on Medieval and Renaissance literature, as shown for example by the topic of substituted heart, which is a folktale motif.


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Come citare
Ottria, I. (2022). Odiare il fratello. L’opera in musica Eteocle e Polinice e il suo rapporto con la Tebaide di Stazio. Frammenti Sulla Scena (online), 2, 324-354. Recuperato da https://ojs.unito.it/index.php/fss/article/view/6744
PARENTI SERPENTI. Rapporti familiari difficili fra mito e teatro antico. Atti del convegno on-line (Università di Siena, 4-5 giugno 2020) [a cura di Giorgia Giaccardi]