Burnacini, Ludovico Ottavio
- Manfred Boetzkes
(b ?Mantua, 1636; d Vienna, Dec 12, 1707). Italian stage designer and architect, son of Giovanni Burnacini. He went to Vienna in 1651 as his father’s assistant and pupil. After his father’s death (1655) he at first succeeded him as stage designer at the imperial court, but on 30 June 1657 he was dismissed by the new emperor, Leopold I, in favour of G.B. Angelini. Re-engaged from 1 January 1659, for nearly five decades he designed all the stage sets, machines and costumes for the theatrical performances, sacre rappresentazioni, festivals and memorial ceremonies of the Viennese court. He also did architectural work, including the building of the new court theatres, 1666–8.
Burnacini’s unique scenic imagination stamped Viennese opera in the 17th century – the works of Bertali, Cesti, Draghi and the Zianis – with an unmistakable imprint. Surpassing even the masterly theatrical machinery of his father, he developed a spectacular style of courtly stage design, particularly in the great ‘homage operas’ of the 1660s and 70s (e.g. Cesti’s ...