Opera in a Multicultural World: Coloniality, Culture, Performance, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Opera in a Multicultural World

Coloniality, Culture, Performance, 1st Edition

Edited by Mary Ingraham, Joseph So, Roy Moodley


264 pages

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pub: 2015-07-08
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Through historical and contemporary examples, this book critically explores the relevance and expressions of multicultural representation in western European operatic genres in the modern world. It reveals their approaches to reflecting identity, transmitting meaning, and inspiring creation, as well as the ambiguities and contradictions that occur across the time and place(s) of their performance. This collection brings academic researchers in opera studies into conversation with previously unheard voices of performers, critics, and creators to speak to issues of race, ethnicity, and culture in the genre. Together, they deliver a powerful critique of the perpetuation of the values and practices of dominant cultures in operatic representations of intercultural encounters. Essays accordingly cross methodological boundaries in order to focus on a central issue in the emerging field of coloniality: the hierarchies of social and political power that include the legacy of racialized practices. In theorizing coloniality through intercultural exchange in opera, authors explore a range of topics and case studies that involve immigrant, indigenous, exoticist, and other cultural representations and consider a broad repertoire that includes lesser-known Canadian operas, Chinese- and African-American performances, as well as works by Haydn, Strauss, Puccini, and Wagner, and in performances spanning three continents and over two centuries. In these ways, the collection contributes to the development of a more integrated understanding of the interdisciplinary fields inherent in opera, including musicology, sociology, anthropology, and others connected to Theatre, Gender, and Cultural Studies. 

Table of Contents

Introduction: Opera, Multiculturalism, and Coloniality Mary I. Ingraham, Joseph K. So, and Roy Moodley Part I: Opera as Tradition 1. Jazz, Opera, and the Ideologies of Race Linda Hutcheon and Michael Hutcheon 2. Blacks and Blackface at the Opera Robin Elliott 3. From Chinatown Opera to The First Emperor: Racial Imagination, the Trope of "Chinese Opera" and New Hybridity Nancy Yunhwa Rao 4. The Other Within: Negotiating Musical Citizenship in Canadian Opera Mary Ingraham 5. Playing the Race Card: Anti-Semitism and Wagner® Nicholas Vazsonyi Part II: Critical Case Studies 6. Joseph Haydn’s Judaizing of the Apothecary—Take 2 Caryl Clark 7. Strauss and Racial Science Sander L. Gilman 8. Their Meister’s Voice: Nazi Reception of Richard Wagner and His Works in the Völkischer Beobachtez David B. Dennis 9. Returning to Where She Didn’t Come From: Turandot on the Chinese Stage Josh Stenberg 10. Reflections on a Most Unusual Parsifal: Bayreuth and Christoph Schlingensief Frances Henry 11. Racism and Sexism: Melodies that Continue to Soar on the Operatic Landscape Wallace Cheatham Part III: Opera in the Real World 12. Jazzing Up Opera: A Defence of Québécité George Elliott Clarke 13. Voices from the Gallery: Perceptions, Perspectives and Pleasures of the Opera Audience Deanna Davis, Joseph K. So, and Roy Moodley 14. Constructing Operatic Racism in Postmodern Cultural Studies Frances Henry and Carol Tator

About the Editors

Mary I. Ingraham is Professor of Musicology at the University of Alberta. Her research examines the socio-political context for cultural creation in Canada, particularly as it reflects intercultural encounters between European, indigenous, and immigrant cultures. She has published a catalogue of Canadian operas, on interculturality, and has written online educational materials for the Canadian Music Centre.

Joseph K. So is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Trent University. A medical anthropologist, Professor So also specializes in the anthropology of race and racism, with a focus on the representation of race in the performing arts/opera. In addition to many articles and chapters in anthropology, he has had an eighteen-year history of writing articles on music and opera. He is Associate Editor of Opera Canada, Canadian correspondent for Opera (UK), and Associate Editor of La Scena Musicale/ The Music Scene.

Roy Moodley is Associate Professor in Counseling Psychology at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Research and publication interests include traditional and cultural healing; multicultural and diversity counseling; race, culture, and ethnicity in psychotherapy; and masculinities.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Music

This series is our home for cutting-edge, upper-level scholarly studies and edited collections. Considering music performance, theory, and culture alongside topics such as gender, race, ecology, film, religion, politics, and science, titles are characterized by dynamic interventions into established subjects and innovative studies on emerging topics.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / General
MUSIC / Ethnic
MUSIC / Ethnomusicology
MUSIC / Genres & Styles / Opera
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General