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The Singing TurkOttoman Power and Operatic Emotions on the European Stage from the Siege of Vienna to the Age of Napoleon$
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Larry Wolff

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780804795777

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804795777.001.0001

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Maometto in Naples and Venice

Maometto in Naples and Venice

The Operatic Charisma of the Conqueror

(p.305) 10 Maometto in Naples and Venice
The Singing Turk

Larry Wolff

Stanford University Press

This chapter focuses on Rossini’s Maometto Secondo, presenting the Ottoman conqueror of Constantinople, Mehmed II, at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples in 1820. The sultan appeared as a charismatic and romantic singing Turk, performed by Filippo Galli. Enthusiasm for Rossini is discussed in the political context of Restoration Europe in the age of Metternich. Rossini’s Maometto Secondo is analyzed in relation to Peter Winter’s Maometto at La Scala in 1817, an opera about Mohammed the Prophet, based on Voltaire’s tragedy Mahomet. Rossini’s Maometto Secondo also conjured memories of Napoleon, the man whose seemingly endless ambitions for conquest were reflected in the operatic ambitions of Maometto on the operatic stage. Finally, since the plot of the opera deals with the sultan’s specific conquest of Venetian Negroponte, Rossini’s revision of the opera for Venice in 1822 is considered in relation to the long history of Venetian-Ottoman relations.

Keywords:   Filippo Galli, Maometto Secondo (Rossini), Sultan Mehmed II (the Conqueror), Metternich, Mohammed the Prophet, Napoleon, Restoration Europe, Gioachino Rossini, Teatro San Carlo (Naples), Peter Winter

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