Il Corago - The Baroque Opera Director
The essential guide to Early Opera
Andrew Lawrence-King's new translation of and commentary on the Il Corago manuscript is coming soon. Read more...
Fabbri & Pompilio's (1983) Italian edition is here.
Fabbri & Pompilio's Italian-language edition of IL CORAGO includes a scholarly introduction, placing the manuscript in the context of other period sources.
They consider the treatise especially useful to today's performers, looking at a 17th-century score they would like to perform: "IL CORAGO does not start from a humanist perspective of a theoretical model, he starts from the work at hand, to be performed."
The focus is on the 'first operas': "IL CORAGO addresses all the problems of theatrical staging in an extremely pragmatic way, in the form of admonition, of useful advice from someone who in this activity has gained a certain experience in the field...
"The treatise follows step by step, systematically, all the various phases in the construction of a theatrical show. Divided overall into 23 chapters, the first chapter - dedicated to the definition of the Corago - is followed by four more "admonitions" for the assembling of a functioning theatrical script, for the construction of the stage and of the perspective set: all the preliminary preparations for any kind of stage production.
"In the sixth chapter then, there is just an indication of the THREE WAYS TO ACT... The next eight chapters are dedicated to musical and textual problems of sung performance, whilst XV and XVI adress the problems of 'how to act' whether in music or 'simply'. This last chapter is the only one dedicated entirely and exclusively to spoken performance: the others look at some specific components of the dramatic rappresentation (CHOIRS, DANCES, COSTUMES, MASKS, MACHINES and ILLUMINATION).
"It concludes by itemising 'some general admonitions for the CORAGO' to be observed before starting off with the show."