Inventing the Business of Opera: The Impresario and His World in Seventeenth-Century Venice

Jonathan Glixon, Beth Glixon

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

22 Scopus citations


This book explores public opera in its infancy, from 1637 to 1677, when theater owners and impresarios, drawing on the models of the already existent theaters for comedy, established Venice as the operatic capital of Europe. Based on new documentation, the book studies all of the components necessary for opera production, from the financial backing and the issue of patronage to the commissioning and creation of the libretto and score; the recruitment and employment of singers, dancers, and instrumentalists the production of the scenery and the costumes; and the nature of the audience. The book examines the challenges faced by four separate Venetian theaters during the 17th century, focusing on the progress of Marco Faustini, the Venetian impresario most well known today. Faustini-alawyer by profession-made his way from one of Venice's smallest theaters to one of the largest and most important, and his advancement provides a personal view of an impresario and his partners, who ranged from Venetian patricians to artisans. Throughout the book, Venice emerges as a city that prized novelty over economy, with new repertory, scenery, costumes, and expensive singers the rule rather than the exception.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages424
ISBN (Electronic)9780199868483
StatePublished - May 1 2008

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2006 by Oxford University Press, Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Artisans
  • Costumes
  • Impresario
  • Instrumentalists
  • Libretto
  • Patricians
  • Public opera
  • Scenery
  • Theater
  • Venice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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