Piccinni: Il regno della Luna
Il regno della Luna
Edited by Lawrence Mays
SET170 Piccinni: Il regno della Luna
This publication is a set of two volumes, each sold separately.
Niccolò Piccinni (1728–1800) wrote Il regno della luna for the Regio Ducal Theatro in Milan in 1770, and a revised version—preserved in the only extant source—was performed seven times in Dresden between 1773 and 1775. The work showcases the subversion of dramma giocoso conventions through which Piccinni presented characters that are at once realistic and sympathetic. Noteworthy musical elements include the high proportion of ensembles in relation to arias, the frequent use of accompanied recitative, and the prominent role of the chorus. The unknown librettist may have been Giuseppe Parini, whose Enlightenment views are echoed in the opera’s unconventional themes. The libretto engages strongly with eighteenth-century Italian discourse regarding the social and political position of women, the non-European Other, and the societal costs and benefits of militarism and commerce. Involving actual travel to the Moon, the work also exemplifies early science fiction. Presented here in its first modern edition, Il regno della Luna stands as a testament to the most forward-looking ideas of its time, both musically and ideologically.