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Journal Article

Opera as business?: From impresari to the publishing industry

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Toelle, J. (2012). Opera as business?: From impresari to the publishing industry. Journal of Modern Italian Studies, 17(4), 448-458. doi:10.1080/1354571X.2012.690583.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002D-0436-B
The impresario was a key figure of nineteenth-century Italian operatic life. Along with other economic, financial and organizational aspects of ottocento opera, the article examines the role of these shrewd businessmen, drawing particular attention to the role of the Habsburgs in the administration of theaters in Lombardy. Along with a general job description of the Italian opera impresario of the first half of the nineteenth century, the article explains how gambling provided a way of financing the lavish seasons of Italian opera houses. After 1861, the role of the impresario changed considerably and was subsequently taken over by the publishers. Generally speaking, the impresario's role changed from being an active creator to that of a mere participant in the opera industry. Soon after 1900 he disappeared completely from the stages of the Italian opera world.