The Phenomenon of Intertextuality in 19th Century Italian Opera Libretti: The Example of G. Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor”-David Publishing Company
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The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel


The purpose of this study is to identify the specifics of opera libretto in the context of intertextual relationships. The implementation of this goal involves the following tasks:

Ÿ Determining the intertextual nature of the opera libretto;

Ÿ Analyzing the structural laws of the text of the literary source and how they are transformed in the opera libretto.

Libretto as the phenomenon of musical culture requires a multidimensional knowledge of the modern humanities. This requires overcoming a highly specialized approach, be it musicological or literary, and a transition to a comprehensive cultural analysis. To solve the problems posed in the work, this study employs the following methods:

Ÿ Integrative, enabling application of the knowledge gained through various sciences to the solution of the tasks posed in this study;

Ÿ Comparative-historical, considering the development of libretto and nineteenth-century Italian opera libretti;

Ÿ Analytic-interpretative, used in the analysis of the interpretations of the phenomenon of the intertextuality of the opera libretto;

Ÿ Typological analysis, which enables identification of the inherent features of the opera libretto.

The synthetic structure of the operatic text has been studied in the framework of various branches of the humanitiesmusicology, literary criticism, theatrical studies. The issue of intertextuality of the opera libretto has not been considered until recently, as evidenced by the lack of special studies of this phenomenon of musical culture. The scientific novelty of the study is determined by its text-centric orientation. The experience of a comprehensive examination of previously separate texts (the original source and the opera libretto) leads to the discovery of a holistic phenomenon: a multi-level model of interpretation which indicates intertextuality as the main property of the libretto.


libretto, intertextuality, text, opera

Cite this paper

Psychology Research, May 2022, Vol. 12, No. 5, 244-252


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