Melodramas of Manhood, Allegories of Violence
This chapter discusses the canzone sceneggiata (“staged song”), or simply sceneggiata (“staged”), a precursor of neomelodica music. The sceneggiata is a century-old Neapolitan melodramatic musical performance genre that has taken the form of theater, film (silent and sound), and music videos. It heavily influenced neomelodica music, which shares with it many aesthetic features and conjures some of the same sensibilities. In its early life, the sceneggiata was a potent force in popular culture in Campania and in Italian diasporas. This force waned across decades of political economic change. Now the sceneggiata is staged only as fragments in Neapolitan popular culture and performances of everyday life. The reasons for this change are registered in both the waning potency of allegory and the allegorical narrative itself.
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