Title page for ETD etd-04082004-164705

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Truitt, Jon Steffen
URN etd-04082004-164705
Title American Verismo? Insights into "The Padrone", an Opera by George Whitefield Chadwick (13 November 1854 - 4 April 1931)
Degree Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.)
Department Music
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Kyle Marrero Committee Chair
Lori Bade Committee Member
Robert Grayson Committee Member
Robert Peck Committee Member
Claude Vandeloise Dean's Representative
  • verismo
  • The Padrone
  • George Chadwick
  • David Stevens
  • American opera
Date of Defense 2004-03-29
Availability unrestricted
The contribution of George Whitefield Chadwick (13 November 1854 – 4 April 1931) to American music comes in many forms: composer, teacher, conductor, pianist and organist. A leading figure of the Second School of New England composers, Chadwick was also largely responsible for the effective reorganization of the New England Conservatory. He was arguably one of the most influential teachers in American music in the latter half of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century.

This study deals with Chadwick’s last opera intended for professional production, The Padrone. The opera, an American example of Italian verismo, is a two act drama depicting the lives of exploited Italians in a north-eastern American city in 1912. The study of the opera has been presented from the performer’s perspective, as prepared for a performance such as a lecture/recital.

Conclusions drawn from the study include the following: (1) Verismo can be described in specific terms by the application of the definitions of literary and musical verismo. (2) The Padrone can be labeled as an example of verismo when the specific definition is applied. (3) Through analysis that includes the labeling of The Padrone as a verismo work, an informed performance of the opera may be undertaken.

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