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Opera in the Teaching of Italian in the World

Form Theory to Practical Issues

Paolo E. Balboni    Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italia    

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abstract

Each year the Italian government chooses a topic as the focus of the ‘week of Italian in the world’, to be held late in October. Researchers, institutions and practitioners in the field of Italian as a FL are asked to focus their work on the topic of the year, which is The Italian of music, the music of Italian in 2015. In this essay the leading figure of Itals, the research and formation centre of Italian as a second and foreign language of Venice University, discusses the importance of a type of Italian music, i.e. the opera, which had and still has an important role in the spread of the Italian language and culture. The main idea of the essay is that the opera is not just a form of theatre, but the theatre in Italy in the xix century, both as far as quantitative and qualitative literary production is concerned, and because it was the opera that attracted the attention of both literate and illiterate Italians, and it was the operas, and not the normal dramas, that discussed the political, social and existential issues that were relevant in those years.

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