Lisa Sampson – Gentlemen of Verona and theatrical activities in the Accademia Filarmonica



Event Date: 17 – 18 September 2011
British Library Conference Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
London NW1 2DB

The Italian Academies 1525–1700 Project presents:


This major international conference is being hosted as part of the AHRC funded research project The Italian Academies 1525-1700: the first intellectual networks of early modern Europe.

Academies represent a vital and characteristic dimension of early modern culture.
There were ca. 600 Academies in Italy in the period 1525-1700. Frequently international in membership, and in correspondence with scholars across Europe, they were fundamental to the development of the intellectual networks later defined as the ‘République des Lettres’, and to the dissemination of ideas in early modern Europe. Their membership included pioneering scientists, writers, artists, political thinkers, and representatives of both sexes and all social classes. The interests of the Academies ranged from the humanities, to the figurative and performance arts, natural sciences and medicine; many were interdisciplinary in their outlook and activities.

However, the social and cultural phenomenon of the Italian Academies has hitherto attracted relatively little research due in part to the wide range of their interests and difficulties in accessing relevant information.

The conference aims to explore research questions raised by the activities of Academies in this period.

Lisa Sampson (University of Reading) – Gentlemen of Verona and theatrical activities in the Accademia Filarmonica

The paper explores the theatrical culture of Verona in the later part of the sixteenth century, focusing on the role played in its development by the Accademia Filarmonica. Founded in 1543, the academy rapidly became the most important such institution in the city. It is famous principally for its musical activities, though it gained a reputation also for letters and eventually built its own theatre, inaugurated in 1732. Its little known theatrical performances in the sixteenth century – given for restricted, elite guests – and interactions with professional comici and dramatists over the period, will be examined. These give an insight into some of the tensions of an organizational, economic and religious nature that underpinned academic culture.



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