Ana Fernandez Valbuena

PhD in Italian Philology from the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM), she is a playwright, teacher and researcher, expert in Italian opera and contemporary Spanish dramaturgy. 

She has worked at the Escuela Superior de Canto (Madrid School of Singing), the UCM and the Madrid Royal Higher College of Performing Arts (RESAD). Since 2022, she has led the Spanish National Institute for the Performing Arts and Music (INAEM)’s Documentation Centre for the Performing Arts and Music.

She received the 2011 International Journalism Award at the Almada Theatre Festival, the 2017 “José Monleón” Research Award from the Academia de las Artes Escénicas de España (Spanish Academy of Performing Arts) and was runner-up for the 2018 “Carlo Annoni’ International Dramaturgy Prize (Milan).

“The Coronation of Poppea by Monteverdi-Busenello: words as masters of and not slaves to, harmony”.

The libretto and score of L’incoronazione di Poppea (The Coronation of Poppaea) (1642) is the first work in Italy to be called opera in musica (opera in music), as opposed to earlier works referred to as favola in musica (tale [presented in] music),  associated with celebrations at the Italian courts of the early 17th century. Its librettist, Gian Francesco Busenello, was fully aware of the dramatic scope of the piece, and he belonged to a generation of lyricists and stage musicians who contributed to transforming what we know today as opera, in which the words were not slaves to the harmony, but masters of it.