L Orfeo Susan Mcclary Analysis

Susan McClary believed, that as film and media continue the discourse on gender identities today, early-modern opera was a pioneer in the construction of gender identities to the public sphere. The construction of gender became necessary when presented portrayals of the world had to differentiate between male or female characters, as one sex could play the other. These constructions were shaped by the time and place in which the work was presented. The issue on how to represent women was controversial during Monteverdi’s time as perspectives on the female rhetoric were divided. McClary analyses Monteverdi’s L'Orfeo and believes that men had a more provocative stage presence while women had to have an innocent portrayal to remain attractive …show more content…
Her initial note is the same as his first and last note. Her lack of agency in the melody as she commences her piece delineates how his musical eloquence has swayed her to mimic the same sentiments. While Orfeo has a conservative start in comparison to the rest of the piece, he sings a range of ten notes. By the time he gets to m. 4, he has sung a minor sixth interval. Euridice’s section only has a range of an octave, and her greatest interval is a perfect fifth. The perfect fifth interval only occurs twice in her section of the piece. Orfeo has many leaps by comparison. The conservative melody in Euridice’s part illustrates how much more restricted she is in how she can express herself to remain charming and modest. Orfeo’s melodic freedom and provocative leaps depict how he is more allowed to be charismatic to whoever he pleases. The significance of m. 13 in Euridice’s part is supported not just through a realistic rhythm, but by having his greatest leap in that measure between the words “sospirasti” and “felicissimo”. Again, this emphasizes the ownership he now has over her, and also the arrogance in his declamation. The lowest note Euridice sings is a D4 in m. 6, in the word “amore”. The placement of this word portrays how deep her love is for Orfeo as it is the only time she sings a D4. Her character is instantly thought of as more down to earth and genuine in her love for him. In opposition, the highest note Orfeo sings is a F5 in m. 6, in the word “vedestù”. This moment is not when he is speaking to Euridice, but when he is speaking to the heavens. Orfeo’s most expressive moment is when he is showing off his love, while Euridice’s most expressive moment is when she is expressing her love for him. Henceforth, depicting her modesty and his

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