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"Il teatro delle acque": Seventeenth-Century Musical Celebrations for the Aldobrandini

Thu, March 26, 3:00 to 4:30pm, Hauptgebäude, Unter den Linden 6, Floor: Second Floor, 3059


Seventeenth-century travellers described as extraordinary –unique, in fact, among the marvels of Baroque Europe- the spectacular water theater built in Prince Aldobrandini’s villa in Frascati. The musical meta-theater in the spaces of the Ninfeo and the Sala del Parnasso of Villa Belvedere has not drawn the attention of many musicologists until now, even if it is well known that musical performances were realized there during crucial historical moments for the Aldobrandini family, such as the arrival of cardinal Leopoldo de’ Medici in Frascati in 1668. This event was celebrated with the performance of Alessandro Stradella’s cantata La Circe. This paper takes advantage of a number of important sources preserved in the Aldobrandini archive in Frascati in order to study spectacles given by the noble Roman family of a seventeenth-century cardinal. I offer a comparative reading that reconsiders the role of the Aldobrandini in the complex system of Roman musical patronage.