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The Business of Music$
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Michael Talbot

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780853235286

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846312717

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A Venetian Operatic Contract of 1714

A Venetian Operatic Contract of 1714

(p.10) 1 A Venetian Operatic Contract of 1714
The Business of Music

Michael Talbot

Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines the surviving contract signed in 1714 between the noble co-proprietors of a Venetian opera house, the Teatro Sant'Angelo, and an unknown impresario, Pietro Denzio. The contract is not only relevant to the history of Venetian music and of early Settecento opera, but also reveals some commercial aspects that appear surprisingly modern. In particular, the chapter highlights how start-up capital for a season was raised by leasing some of the Teatro Sant'Angelo's assets; how the distinct ‘brand identity’ developed for the theatre's productions suited its modest economic circumstances; and how ownership and control were conscientiously segregated. It also considers how a multi-level system of franchises simplified administration and spread the commercial risk more widely. The chapter sheds light on the operatic context in Venice during the early eighteenth century.

Keywords:   Venice, contract, opera house, Teatro Sant'Angelo, Pietro Denzio, music, theatre, capital, franchises, brand identity

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