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A PORTRAITURE OF HELEN, QUEEN OF TROY IN BOITO'S Mefistofele: Coincidentia Oppositorum

Keywords: Arrigo Boito , queen of troy , portraiture of Helen.

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Abstract:

In this study we attempt to understand some of the aesthetical features implementedby Arrigo Boito (1842-1918) for the dramaturgic formation of the final act of theopera Mefistofele. Doing that, we will focus on the bifocal character of Helen, both asflash-and-blood woman and as the divine Queen of Troy. Disregarding thecontroversial criticism of the value of the music, the analysis below reveals deepconcern for the dramatic coherence practiced by musical associations and culturalsignals. It shows that the composer has sincerely made an effort to characterize bothfacets of Helen-i.e. femininity and Royalty in the manner of collision of contrasts-Coincidentia Oppositorum. That special polar aesthetic approach constitutes aconvincing musico-dramatic whole made out of extremes.

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