Il dottore all’opera. Figure di medici e guaritori nel melodramma fra Sette e Novecento
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Though often confined in minor or marginal roles, operatic doctors have in general distinct and recognizable characteristics. Their social status is normally high, and they often show familiarity with abbient people. Nonetheless, this social position is not accompanied by public esteem and consideration. Doctors are unable to perform successful therapeutic interventions and their doctrinal baggage is a sterile and useless science. At the same time, they are deeply proud of their empty doctrine and appear arrogant, dogmatic and exhibitionist. For this reason, they are often depicted in a satirical way. Only in the late XIXth century, when the progress of medical science allowed a more accurate understanding of the morbid processes and the identification of more effective therapies, figures of doctors who escape this rigid representative mode begin to appear in the librettos, showing sometimes qualities as competence and humanity.
keywordsmedical profession, medical skills, medical reputation, opera.
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