Intermedio [intromessa, introdutto, tramessa, tramezzo, intermezzo] (It.; Fr. intermède)
- David Nutter
[intromessa, introdutto, tramessa, tramezzo, intermezzo] (It.; Fr. intermède)
A form of musico-dramatic entertainment inserted between the acts of plays in the Renaissance and Baroque periods.
Intermedi were first performed at the court in Ferrara in the late 15th century between the acts of the ancient comedies of Titus Maccius Plautus and Terence and those of their humanist successors. Because these plays were divided into five acts four intermedi were required; later intermedi were added before and after the play to increase the number to six, but that was by no means the rule. Since the stage remained open for the entirety of the play once the curtain had been drawn, the insertion of intermedi was a means of clarifying the division of the play into acts. In some instances only instrumental music was used, played out of sight of the audience (intermedio non apparente or ‘invisible’). Far more popular, however, was the staged or ‘visible’ type (...