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Art and Ideology in European Opera: Essays in Honour of Julian Rushton

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DatePublished - Oct 2010
PublisherBoydell and Brewer Ltd
Place of PublicationWoodbridge
Original languageEnglish
ISBN (Print)9781843835677

Abstract

Essays highlight the interplay between opera, art and ideology across three centuries. Three broad themes are opened up from a variety of approaches: nationalism, cosmopolitanism and national opera; opera, class and the politics of enlightenment; and opera and otherness.Opera, that most extravagant of the performing arts, is infused with the contexts of power-brokering and cultural display in which it was conceived and experienced. For individual operas such contexts have shifted over time and new meanings emerged, often quite remote from those intended by the original collaborators; but tracing this ideological dimension in a work's creation and reception enables us to understand its cultural and political role more clearly - sometimes conflicting with its status as art and sometimes enhancing it. This collection is a Festschrift in honour of Julian Rushton, one of the most distinguished opera scholars of his generation and highly regarded for his innovative studies of Gluck, Mozart and Berlioz, among many others. Colleagues, associates and former students pay tribute to his work with essays highlighting the interplay between opera, art and ideology across three centuries. Three broad themes are opened up from a variety of approaches: nationalism, cosmopolitanism and national opera; opera, class and the politics of enlightenment; and opera and otherness. British opera is represented by studies of Grabu, Purcell, Dibdin, Holst, Stanford and Britten, but the collection sustains a truly European perspective rounded out with essays on French opera funding, Bizet, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Verdi, Puccini, Janácek, Nielsen, Rimsky-Korsakov and Schreker. Several works receive some of their first extended discussion in English.

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