Campagne et bocage agreable dans l'Isle de Naxos; Cest une decoration du troisieme Acte de l'Opera de Venus Ialouse / [r]epresenté a Venise Inuenté par Iacques Torelli de Fano en Italie et Grave par Aueline a Paris
de Bellis, Frank
Date Created and/or Issued
Frank V. de Bellis Collection, J. Paul Leonard Library, San Francisco State University
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During the fifth scene of the third act, another set design appears to the astonishment of the audience due to stage machinery invented by Torelli, that allows the change of scene during the dramatic action. Polissa remains on the stage throughout the transformation, because a large rock appears at the center stage and the girl falls asleep on it. Behind the rock, Torelli’s use of perspective creates the illusion of the vegetation and the houses getting smaller. Niso and Alceta arrive following the discovery of Polissa’s sad demise. Niso’s uncle (or grandfather), Sileno, arrives riding a donkey and is greeted with a chorus of Fauni and Satiri. A buffoon named Trulla appears carrying a bottle of wine and the group proceeds to get drunk. Taking turns, everyone asks Trulla for some wine. The author of the lithography opted to show the entire episode, rather than the encounter between Polissa and Niso. On the right Sileno’s donkey grazes next to the animal are three figures (and other three persons are on the left). Sileno sits center stage surrounded by the raucous Satiri and the Fauni, recognizable by their ears and legs in this bucolic stage design for the tragic-comedic opera La Venere Gelosa, or Venus Jalouse (English, Jealous Venus). La Venere Gelosa, with music by Baroque composer Francesco Sacrati (1605-1650) and libretto by Nicolò Enea Bartolini, was first performed in Venice at the Teatro Novissimo in 1763. Torelli (also known as the "grand stregone" or "great magician") is remembered for innovating opera with the use of sub-stage trolleys connected to ropes to operate scenery and novelty special effects such as machinery to create the illusion of flying characters and weather changes.
1 print : engraving, b&w ; image and title 32 x 24 cm., on mount 40.5 x 33 cm.