Albert Gier

Nicolò Minato, "I pazzi abderiti": amore (sintagmatico) e pazzia (paradigmatica)

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In his 'dramma per musica' "I pazzi Abderiti" (1675), Nicolò Minato combined a somewhat vulgar love story (between two lovers, Nicena chooses Erminto) with many comic scenes that illustrate the Abderiti's madness. These scenes form a paradigmatic series (there is no progression from the first to the last scene; the satirical comments of the lunatics concern not the plot, but rather the current situation at the court of Vienna). In comic theatre the paradigmatic element ("komische Handlung" in R. Warning's terminology) is commonly more important than the plot (the syntagmatic element: "Komödienhandlung"): that is, the love story. The structure of "I pazzi Abderiti" is found also in Minato's other libretti: for instance, in Xerse (1654), where, instead of the lunatics' interventions, there is a series of misunderstandings among the lovers and rivals.

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