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Napoli, 3 maggio 1777: la cantata per san Gennaro nel seggio di Portanova attraverso le lettere di Antonio di Gennaro ad Aurelio Bertola


The cult of San Gennaro is a typical feature of the Neapolitan cultural tradition. In the 18th century, there were three dates on which the martyr was celebrated: the first Saturday of May, 19 September and 16 December. The May feast was held in turn in one of the six "seggi" of the city. In 1771, it was hosted by the "seggio" of Portanova, which commissioned - as usual - a cantata, set to music by Fedele Fenaroli. The libretto of this composition can be studied in detail thanks to the unpublished letters sent by Antonio di Gennaro Duke of Belforte to the poet, the Rimini-born Aurelio Bertola. The explanations and advice given by the former to the latter clarify certain peculiar aspects of the rite and document the transformations undergone by the poetic text.