From Page 334 of Divas and Scholars:
"Attempts to move discussion of Italian opera into the mainstream of scholarly discourse have invariably spawned efforts to show that keys and key relationships are also crucial to this repertory, as if such evidence of compositional planning might help ensure musicological respectability to the sunny South."
Musicology was invented by the Germans, and most of the results of its work show in the giant collections of complete works and Daenkmaeler in music libraries. Looking down across the Alps they saw only chaos. If it isn't about form and analysis, it isn't about anything. There are centuries of catching up to do.
I am aware now when I watch recent performances of Italian operas that the recent efforts have been received very seriously.