DIDONE presents an innovative approach to unveil these conventions: the creation of a corpus of 4,000 digitized arias from 200 opera scores based on Metastasio’s eight most popular dramas, to be analysed using traditional methods and big data computer technology. The comparative scrutiny of dozens of different musical settings of the same librettos will reveal how composers correlate specific dramatic circumstances and emotions with distinct poetic and musical features. The results will be applicable to three main fields: (i) opera performance; (ii) analysis and interpretation of other types of music; and (iii) composition in several scenarios, from film soundtracks to creation by Artificial Intelligence. An opera festival will be designed to recover and disseminate this hitherto ignored repertoire, which was essential to define the European musical identity.
opera; enlightenment; human emotions; computational analysis; digital humanities; european identity