From novella to theatre and opera: translating 'otherness' in Cavalleria rusticana

De Francisci, E. (2023) From novella to theatre and opera: translating 'otherness' in Cavalleria rusticana. In: Ganguly, A. and Gotman, K. (eds.) Performance and Translation in a Global Age. Series: Theatre and performance theory. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge ; New York, pp. 186-200. ISBN 9781009296816 (doi: 10.1017/9781009296786)

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This chapter examines what it meant to perform translation in Cavalleria rusticana. It examines: 1) the original novella written by Giovanni Verga in 1880; 2) the 1884 stage version adapted by the author and interpreted by a variety of star actors, including Eleonora Duse and the Sicilian dialect players; and 3) the 1890 operatic version composed by Pietro Mascagni and performed by celebrity sopranos, such as Emma Calvé. Through close examination of newspaper reviews and early accounts, it is argued that performing translation meant generating and circulating an exoticized ‘brand’ of Sicilian-ness in and outside the Italian peninsula shortly after political unification in 1861. This chapter thus offers new perspectives into questions of racial stereotypes, and a provides basis for new insights into the Sicilian dialect players, in particular, who, pioneering a physical and bodily form of communication, transcended language barriers and mediated the foreign text through a kind of translation that went beyond the written word.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:De Francisci, Dr Enza
Authors: De Francisci, E.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Modern Languages and Cultures
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
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