Nineteenth-century French grand opera was a musical and cultural phenomenon with an important and widespread transnational presence in Europe. Primary attention in the major studies of the genre has so far been on the Parisian context for which the majority of the works were originally written. In contrast, this volume takes account of a larger geographical and historical context, bringing the Europe-wide impact of the genre into focus. The book presents case studies including analyses of grand opera in small-town Germany and Switzerland; grand operas adapted for Scandinavian capitals, a cockney audience in London, and a court audience in Weimar; and Portuguese and Russian grand operas after the French model. Its overarching aim is to reveal how grand operas were used – performed, transformed, enjoyed and criticised, emulated and parodied – and how they became part of musical, cultural and political life in various European settings. The picture that emerges is complex and diversified, yet it also testifies to the interrelated processes of cultural and political change as bourgeois audiences, at varying paces and with local variations, increased their influence, and as discourses on language, nation and nationalism influenced public debates in powerful ways.
Table of Contents
Introduction Jens Hesselager Part 1 – Places 1. Parisian Grand Opera at the Basel Theater auf dem Blömlein: Traces of Transnational Circulation, Translation and Reception Laura Moeckli 2. Grand Opera in Nineteenth-Century Stockholm: Court Celebrations and Bourgeois Entertainment Karin Hallgren Part 2 – Works 3. Cockneys in a Fever: 'Gustave' in London, 1833 Sarah Hibberd 4. Masking the Masked Ball: Auber’s 'Gustav III' as 'Die Ballnacht' at the Weimar Court Theatre, 1836 Carolin Bahr 5. Halévy’s La Juive in Stockholm, 1866 Owe Ander Part 3 – Characters 6. Sympathy for the Devil? Bertram (Robert le diable) in Copenhagen, 1833 Jens Hesselager 7. Fenella ('La Muette de Portici') and Valentine ('Les Huguenots') as Symbols of National Identity in Helsinki, 1877 Ulla-Britta Broman-Kananen 8. Staging Anti-Semitic Stereotypes: Wäinö Sola’s Eléazar at the Finnish Opera, 1925 Anne Kauppala Part 4 – Responses 9 In Search of the National: Nineteenth-Century Portuguese Composers and their First Approaches to Grand Opera Luísa Cymbron 10. Conflicting Ethnicities on the Russian Imperial Stage: The Case of Otto Dütsch’s 'The Croatian Girl' Emanuele Bonomi 11. Meyerbeer on the 'Zarzuela' Stage: El dúo de ‘La Africana’ by Manuel Fernández Caballero Carlos María Solare
Jens Hesselager is Associate Professor at Section of Musicology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. His research focuses primarily on questions pertaining to music theatre and theatre music in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, including dialogue opera, grand opera, vaudeville, melodrama and incidental music. Within this field, his particular interest is in transnational aspects: mobility (translation, transformation, reconfiguration) of repertoires, genres, practices and values; inter-urban migration of musicians and singers; and relations between cultural centres and peripheries.