Mauro Calcagno

Selected Works

From Madrigal to Opera: Monteverdi's Staging of the Self
A new way to look at the origins, reception, and performance of early opera. Click on the link above for a companion webpage including audios, videos, and other useful resources.

"This pathbreaking study links two traditionally separate genres as their stars crossed to explore the emergence of multiple selves in early modern Italian culture and society. Calcagno focuses on the works of Claudio Monteverdi, a master of both genres, to investigate how they reflect changing ideas about performance and role-playing by singers. The author traces the roots of dialogic subjectivity to Petrarch's love poetry, arguing that Petrarchism exerted a powerful influence not only on late Renaissance literature and art, but also on music. Covering more than a century of music and cultural history, the book demonstrates that the birth of opera relied on an important feature of the madrigalian tradition: the role of the composer as a narrative agent enabling performers to become characters and hold a specific point of view."

The Marenzio Project: Online Edition and Collection of Essays
The goal of the Marenzio Online Digital Edition (MODE),, is to make available, for the first time, a complete critical edition of Luca Marenzio’s secular music.

The volume “Compositor moderno et vago”: Perspectives on Luca Marenzio’s Secular and Devotional Music, ed. Mauro Calcagno, series "Épitome musical" of the Centre d'Études Supérieures de la Renaissance (Turnhout: Brepols, forthcoming) provides a useful companion to the composer, his music, and his times.

Staging Baroque Opera Today
The project examines the historiographical and conceptual implications of performing and staging operas from the Baroque period.