Saturday, January 10, 2015

Music of Naples

Music of Naples


The Sceneggiata

Little-known abroad, but extremely popular in Naples, is the local stage musical form called the Sceneggiata. Around the start of the 20th century, they were performed in the U.S. in areas populated by Italian immigrants. The form has been called "a musical soap opera" and generally revolves around domestic grief, the agony of leaving home, personal deceit and treachery, betrayal in love, and life in the world of petty crime. It is always sung and spoken in Neapolitan dialect. Action stops every few minutes for someone to break out in song. As a rule, many of the plots were flimsy after-the-fact vehicles to promote particular songs. The sceneggiata started shortly after World War I, was extremely popular in the 1920s, then faded, but has been enjoying somewhat of a comeback with newer generations of performers since the 1960s. The most popular performer of the genre is the Neapolitan, Mario Merola. The most popular sceneggiata ever written is Zappatore, (meaning, exactly, "clodbuster," one who works the land and breaks up the soil for farming) written to feature a song of that name in 1929 by Bovio and Albano. It then became a stage production and was even made into a film on various occasions, the first one actually from a film company in Little Italy in New York City.

No comments:

Post a Comment