«Lo sognai ferito, esangue»: la rete intertestuale del Pirata

Gloria Staffieri


The essay offers a dramaturgical reading of Bellini’s third opera, based on an intertextual comparison with its original sources (Maturin’s tragedy and Nodier’s mélodrame), placed in the context of a rich network of historical-cultural references. At the same time, it examines the process of transcodification and re-semantization that the subject has endured in the transfer to different cultural milieus. In particular, with regard to the operatic version, special attention is dedicated to the theatrical universe, both for the comparison with Pellico’s Francesca da Rimini and for the influence of acting techniques on Bellini’s new declamatory and ‘philosophic’ style. In fact, as the comparative analysis shows, in his libretto Romani reuses several elements of his own Francesca da Rimini. So doing, he transforms the formal structure as well as the profound meaning of the drama: in the opera the original story of Bertram and Imogene becomes a real family tragedy, that in Imogene’s madness reveals the critical distress when facing a patriarchal model, no longer suitable for the society emerging after the Revolution.


Il pirata literary sources – Felice Romani – Charles Robert Maturin – Bertram – Jean Charles Emmanuel Nodier – Bertram, ou Le Château de Saint-Aldobrand – Silvio Pellico – Francesca da Rimini – Romantic aesthetics – Mélodrame’s reception in Italian opera

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DOI: 10.17422/ISSN.2283-8716/1025