This essay studies the public image of the notary on the basis of 50 opera librettos written in Italian, French and German, published between 1766 and 1928. As regards the operatic notary's social standing, it can be stated that he occupies an overall intermediate position on the social scale. That is to say, he appears to be out of topmost levels, but at the same time safe from the risk of financial ruin. Only in the course of the 18th century did the category see its prestige tarnished, as the librettos highlight the notaries' growing economic difficulties and their diminishing presence in both civil and ecclesiastical centres of power. With regard to the notaries' cultural and professional identity, it can be said that, even without distinguishing themselves for their doctrine, they look fluent in Latin and appear up to the tasks they were asked to perform. It is true that they are described in most cases while performing a very specific task, namely the drafting of a marriage contract, but even from this limited point of view, notaries generally display competence and impartiality. Careful in protecting the interests of their customers, they perform their duties diligently, sometimes helping to settle complicated disputes. Sometimes, there are negative or farcical representations of the category in the world of opera, but these appear to be a minority and moreover conform to stereotypical comic clichés, which have little to do with the social role of notaries and their specific duties. If we consider that in some European literature, on the contrary, there is a widespread negative representation of this profession, we may conclude that in the opera librettos, on the whole, a cautious rehabilitation of the notary figure can be observed.

Tanturri, A., Il notaio all'opera. Figure di notai nel Melodramma fra Sette e Novecento, <<INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LEGAL HISTORY AND INSTITUTIONS>>, 2022; 2022 (6): 229-258 [https://hdl.handle.net/10807/221586]

Il notaio all'opera. Figure di notai nel Melodramma fra Sette e Novecento

Tanturri, Alberto
2022

Abstract

This essay studies the public image of the notary on the basis of 50 opera librettos written in Italian, French and German, published between 1766 and 1928. As regards the operatic notary's social standing, it can be stated that he occupies an overall intermediate position on the social scale. That is to say, he appears to be out of topmost levels, but at the same time safe from the risk of financial ruin. Only in the course of the 18th century did the category see its prestige tarnished, as the librettos highlight the notaries' growing economic difficulties and their diminishing presence in both civil and ecclesiastical centres of power. With regard to the notaries' cultural and professional identity, it can be said that, even without distinguishing themselves for their doctrine, they look fluent in Latin and appear up to the tasks they were asked to perform. It is true that they are described in most cases while performing a very specific task, namely the drafting of a marriage contract, but even from this limited point of view, notaries generally display competence and impartiality. Careful in protecting the interests of their customers, they perform their duties diligently, sometimes helping to settle complicated disputes. Sometimes, there are negative or farcical representations of the category in the world of opera, but these appear to be a minority and moreover conform to stereotypical comic clichés, which have little to do with the social role of notaries and their specific duties. If we consider that in some European literature, on the contrary, there is a widespread negative representation of this profession, we may conclude that in the opera librettos, on the whole, a cautious rehabilitation of the notary figure can be observed.
Italiano
Tanturri, A., Il notaio all'opera. Figure di notai nel Melodramma fra Sette e Novecento, <<INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LEGAL HISTORY AND INSTITUTIONS>>, 2022; 2022 (6): 229-258 [https://hdl.handle.net/10807/221586]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10807/221586
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