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Aggression And Autoaggression in the Opera

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Abstract

In investigating the problem of suicide in the opera, we encounter an operatic aria entitled “Suicid” in the opera La Giaconda by Amilcare Ponchielli, best known for its fascinating ballet music “The Dance Of The Hours.” La Giaconda, a young prostitute, loves the Genuese nobleman Enzio Grimaldo who is also loved by Laura, the wife of a states-man. The statesman attempts to force La Giaconda, who has been brought to him accused of adultery with Enzio, to commit suicide. But Laura exchanges the poison for a sleeping potion. She finds herself in a conflict of conscience, as she herself loves Enzio. In the end she decides to let the two lovers escape and stabs herself.

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