BOOK REVIEWS 253 who painted not religious or mythological episodes but Venetian genre society sce- nes. Goldoni did not write in a theatrical void but was a jobbing playwright hired by impresari or capocomici who managed companies with a fixed number of actors and actresses, old and young, good humoured or bad tempered as they may be. Gol- doni incorporated these characteristics into his plays: Fido underlines throughout that Goldoni was a theatrical collaborator, not a lonely author, a playwright who produced works of a particular sort on demand, for instance for the marchese Alber- gati and his dilettanti in Zola Predosa or for the Querini Stampalia brothers for their little theatre in Treviso, but who also tailored his work for the companies he found at the San Luca or Sant’Angelo theaters. He quotes Goldoni himself as stating un- complainingly that Il cavaliere di buon gusto was written in a style he would not have been used for “i comici di professione” (92) and that he was required to provi- de parts for all the actors of the “numerosa compagnia di detto [San Luca] teatro” (55). It is not the least of the merits of Fido’s work that he
Forum Italicum : A Journal of Italian Studies – SAGE
Published: Mar 1, 2010
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