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|Keywords||Ludovico Ariosto, Orlando furioso, Venice, librettists, 17th/18th century|
|Abstract||Ludovico Ariosto's knightly poem, Orlando furioso 'The Furious Orlando' was popular among the Venetian librettists of the 17th and 18th centuries. On the stages of the musical theatres of the 17th century the public could watch and listen to some extraordinarily spectacular adaptations of Orlando furioso. They displayed several peculiarities of the contemporary Venetian opera performances, including what is known as the polycentric plot, or the comic characters being represented by gestures and realistic elements. In the librettos of the following century Orlando would become a central character, depicted as a heroic-comic person in the scene of losing his sanity by Grazio Braccioli. Ariosto's hero would become a beloved character of several librettists of later eras in other places, too, not only Venice.|