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I TALIAN R ENAISSANCE / C OMMEDIA D ELL ’A RTE By: Michael Gonzales, Brianna Delgado, and Ashley Montes.

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Presentation on theme: "I TALIAN R ENAISSANCE / C OMMEDIA D ELL ’A RTE By: Michael Gonzales, Brianna Delgado, and Ashley Montes."— Presentation transcript:

1 I TALIAN R ENAISSANCE / C OMMEDIA D ELL ’A RTE By: Michael Gonzales, Brianna Delgado, and Ashley Montes

2 B ACKGROUND I NFORMATION Renaissance, meaning rebirth, is the term that’s commonly used to describe the shift from the medieval world to the modern world in western Europe. The renaissance began in Italy in the early fourteenth century, and ended in the sixteenth century, then eventually spread to all of Europe and England.

3 T HE R ENAISSANCE I MPROVES ! Early offerings of Italian playwrights featured weak imitations of classical plays, cheap obscenities, or poorly constructed script. Eventually some advances in the dramatic arts were made in Italy. Theater Architecture was developed, as was stage equipment. Sets with perspective and colored lighting was also introduced.


5 T HE I TALIAN R ENAISSANCE Eventually the plays evolved into different categories, some were: Opera and Commedia Dell’Arte Two major plays were “La Cassaria” by Ludovico Ariosto and “Sofonisba” by Giangiorgio

6 O PERA Opera was another contribution to drama by Italy during the Renaissance. This was an attempt to revive the simplicity and humanism of ancient Greek drama. Opera was originally founded by a group of scholars in Florence to imagine how the music of ancient Greek drama sounded. Opera was introduced with a solo vocal line, and a simple instrumental companion.


8 C OMMEDIA D ELL ’A RTE Commedia Dell’Arte was first performed by professional troupes that specialized in comic improvisation (improv.) Comic improv provided much of the new interest in theater from the sixteenth through the eighteenth century.

9 C OMMEDIA D ELL ’A RTE Commedia Dell’Arte troupes mastered the art of playing out their comic scenarios, plot outlines posted backstage before each and every performance. Instead of fully composed scripts, scenarios were detailed plot outlines that included l azzi and certain memorized lines. L azzi’s were special humorous bits of strange business, usually no part of the main action.

10 Actors in Commedia Dell’Arte had to memorize set speeches, like declarations of love, hate, and madness. The troupes also learned stock jokes, proverbs, songs, exit speeches, and comments on extraneous matters that could be used whenever convenient. Managers led each and every troupe, and usually wrote the scripts for it. Most plots were based on comics that involved father’s who put obstacles in the way of their children’s romances. Servants were very important characters, usually completing the matchmaking.

11 C HARACTERS OF C OMMEDIA D ELL ’A RTE All the characters of Commedia Dell’Arte were stock characters, that represented two social classes: upper class and the servant class. Characters were identified by their costumes and, mainly, by their masks, although the innamorati and innamoratae, didn’t wear masks.

12 L A C ASSARIA BY L UDOVICO A RIOSTO The Cassaria is a comedy of Ludovico Ariosto, represented for the first time on 5 March 1508 at the court of Ferrara. Plot: The setting is in the Greek city of Metellino where two young, Herophilus and Caridoro, many girls are in love with, and Eulalia Corisca, bangles profit from the pimp who is the pimp. Following the advice of the servant Volpino, Herophilus try to redeem Eulalia giving a pledge to profit from a chest of gold yarns Crisobolo father, but the unexpected return of the parent complicates everything: Volpino attempts to make profit from a thief, but the cash is recovered and Volpino sbugiardato and imprisoned. Fulcio, a servant of Caridoro, is able to extract money from Crisobolo with a trick, could thus rescue the two girls and get the free Volpino.

13 S OFONISBA BY G IANGIORGIO T RISSINO Sofonisba is a tragedy by Trissino, written for the first time in 1524. Plot: The historical events that tell Massinissa, son of Gala, king of Massili, having fought gloriously in Spain for the Carthaginians against the Romans in 211 BC, he was forced to return to Africa to restore his power when his father died. Lost kingdom by Syphax, king of Numidia, in revenge for an alliance with the Romans and his own cavalry contributes to the Roman victories until the battle on the river Ampsaga in 204 BC, in which Syphax was taken prisoner with the loss of capital their status, Cirta.Here engages the historical event of Sophonisba, the wife of Syphax and daughter of the Carthaginian Hasdrubal, which conducted a prisoner in the camp of Scipio, kills himself with poison.

14 S TOCK C HARACTERS OF C OMMEDIA D ELL ’A RTE Upper-class characters Innamorati/ Innamorata- Beautifully dressed young lovers, speak a refined language. Arlechino(Harlequin) is Pantalone’s servant. He is extremely poor. If he were a character today he would be on minimum wage, or in the US, three jobs! He’s an acrobat and clown. Brighella (bergamo) a money-grubbing villain, a partner of arlecchino. He’s a self-made man, and a ladies’ man. If he were a character today, he would own a flashy car and have lots of flashy jewelry and clothes.

15 S TOCK C HARACTERS OF C OMMEDIA D ELL ’A RTE Columbina Maidservant to the innamorata and lover of Arlecchino, ususally involved in intrigue, she’s very smart. II Capitano (the captain) boastful he-man soldier, but a coward underneath. II Dottore (usually called Dottore Balanzone or Dottore Graziano, the Doctor.) The doctor is the local aristocrat, who went all the way to bologna to read for his degree. Extremely righ, with “old money.” Adores food and good wines, kind of fat.

16 S TOCK C HARACTERS OF C OMMEDIA D ELL ’A RTE Gianduia A well manered Piedmontese peasant. Innamorata (the lover) The leading woman, who wore no mask. Innamorato (the lover) The leading man who wore no mask. Isabella Pantolone’s daughter. She’s very headstrong, flirtatious, sensuous, and articulate. Men constantly fall helplessly in love with her. She loves to tease and test the mean. Her father always tries to control her life by arranging meetings and agreements with inappropriate overage gentleman suitors.

17 Mezzetin a French figure, painted by Antoine Watteau. Pagliaccio (the Clown) a forerunner of today’s clowns. The opera/ Pagliacci centers around a commedia troupe. Pedrolino (or Pierino, Vicenze) most commonly nowadays known as pierrot a dreamer with a white mask, now consdered the French version of a clown.) Pulcinella Naples, a hunchback who still chases women, he was the model for Punch in the English variation Punch and Lady.

18 S TOCK C HARACTERS OF C OMMEDIA D ELL ’A RTE La Ruffiana (old women) usually a mother or gossipy townswoman who intrudes into the lives of the lovers. Scaramuccia A rougish adventurer and swordsman who replaced II Capitano in later throupes. Was the servant for another character. He wears a black velvet mask and black trousers, shirt and hat. Zanni, Venice a threadbare old servant from Bergamo.

19 E XAMPLES OF C OMMEDIA M ASKS Arlechino has a low forehead with wart, small eyes.


21 E XAMPLES OF C OMMEDIA M ASKS Capitano Long nosed crocodile mask.


23 E XAMPLES OF C OMMEDIA M ASKS Dottore Covers the nose and forehead only. The actor’s cheeks are thus revealed and often reddened to show II Dottore’s fondness for the bottle.


25 E XAMPLES OF C OMMEDIA M ASKS Pantalone Long, hooked nose with bushy eyebrows, sometime also a mustache. A pointed beard, gives a dynamic profile.


27 E XAMPLES OF C OMMEDIA M ASKS Pulcinella Brown or black with a long, beaked nose. Furrowed with wrinkles and a large wart on the forehead.


29 E XAMPLES OF C OMMEDIA M ASKS Zanno as other Commedia Dell’Arte characters, the longer the Zanni’s nose, the more stupid he is.


31 R ELIGION People in this period, believed strongly in the potential for the individual achievement and emphasized life in this world, as opposed to the preparation for life in the next world. They also believed in the potential for individual accomplishments in the art, literature politics and personal life. Renaissance thinkers decried medieval life as primitive and backwards, and looked further back in history, to the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans for inspiration.

32 F ASHION High Gothic Period Women wore chemise, and underdress of frequently rich material and a heavier overdress with a tightly fitting bodice and split, high waisted skirt. Ladies’ head gear ranged from coifs, rolls, and wimples, and hennis with various veils and scarves to simple flower garlands and a ribbon bonding. Men wore shirts with flowing sleeves. Young Italian men opted for the short close doublet fastened to the leggings. Elderly people adopted skirted doublet hoses. Color was everywhere! The most fabulous fashions were worn by the wealthy, but that didn’t stop the less affluent Italians from sporting more revealing and colorful regalia than that worn by their recent ancestors.

33 MaleFemale

34 Q UIZ ! What does Renaissance mean? Which characters did NOT wear masks? People in the Renaissance looked back on who’s ideas? What did Elderly people adopt? Who founded Opera? What are “Lazzi’s?” When was Sofonisba first written? Who wrote the play, La Cassaria? Were servants important or not important characters in Commedia Dell’Arte? In Commedia Dell’Arte what were most plots based on?

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