The Business of Opera: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Business of Opera

1st Edition

Edited by Anastasia Belina-Johnson, Derek B. Scott


234 pages

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Hardback: 9781472429452
pub: 2016-03-18
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The study of the business of opera has taken on new importance in the present harsh economic climate for the arts. This book presents research that sheds new light on a range of aspects concerning marketing, audience development, promotion, arts administration and economic issues that beset professionals working in the opera world. The editors' aim has been to assemble a coherent collection of essays that engage with a single theme (business), but differ in topic and critical perspective. The collection is distinguished by its concern with the business of opera here and now in a globalized market. This includes newly commissioned operas, sponsorship, state funding, and production and marketing of historic operas in the twenty-first century.


This book helps sharpen the focus of music historians, spectators-consumers of music, and the multiple actors involved in the business of opera. By taking us behind the scenes, it reminds us that opera certainly lives on the talent of its creators and performers, but survives, also, on money from those who finance it. It is one of the merits of the book to provide concrete and emblematic evidence.

Mélanie Traversier, Transposition: Musique et Sciences Sociales

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction, Anastasia Belina-Johnson and Derek B. Scott; Trends and innovations in opera, Nicholas Payne; Baroque opera, historical information, and business; or, how a nerd became a hipster, Christine Fischer; From state opera to multilevel opera business: the transformation of opera governance in Berlin, London and Paris at the end of the 20th century, Sarah Zalfen; The business of composing opera: a composer’s perspective, Paul Alan Barker; Interdisciplinary support for opera practice in the UK, Christopher Newell; The world opera: a new global format for the business of opera, Jason E. Geistweidt and Niels W. Lund; Opera orchestral contracts considered as a research resource, George Kennaway; Behind the curtain: shaping a new Siegfried, Cordelia Chenault; A Ring for people and place: creating expectation and fulfilling demand, Jennifer Daniel; Strategic nationalism towards the imagined community: the rise and success story of Finnish opera, Liisamaija Hautsalo; Bibliography; Index.

About the Editors

Anastasia Belina-Johnson is Deputy Head of Undergraduate Programmes at the Royal College of Music, London, the author of Die tägliche Mühe ein Mensch zu sein (2013) and A Musician Divided: André Tchaikowsky in his own Words (2013), and co-editor of Wagner in Russia, Poland and the Czech Lands: Musical, Literary, and Cultural Perspectives (2013). She is currently researching the performance and reception of Silver Age operetta in Poland between 1906 and 1939.

Derek B. Scott is Professor of Critical Musicology at the University of Leeds, UK. His books include: From the Erotic to the Demonic (2003), Sounds of the Metropolis (2008), and Musical Style and Social Meaning (2010). Among his edited books is The Ashgate Research Companion to Popular Musicology (2009).

About the Series

Ashgate Interdisciplinary Studies in Opera

Ashgate Interdisciplinary Studies in Opera
The Ashgate Interdisciplinary Studies in Opera series provides a centralized and prominent forum for the presentation of cutting-edge scholarship that draws on numerous disciplinary approaches to a wide range of subjects associated with the creation, performance, and reception of opera (and related genres) in various historical and social contexts. There is great need for a broader approach to scholarship about opera. In recent years, the course of study has developed significantly, going beyond traditional musicological approaches to reflect new perspectives from literary criticism and comparative literature, cultural history, philosophy, art history, theatre history, gender studies, film studies, political science, philology, psycho-analysis, and medicine. The new brands of scholarship have allowed a more comprehensive interrogation of the complex nexus of means of artistic expression operative in opera, one that has meaningfully challenged prevalent historicist and formalist musical approaches. The Ashgate Interdisciplinary Studies in Opera series continues to move this important trend forward by including essay collections and monographs that reflect the ever-increasing interest in opera in non-musical contexts. Books in the series are linked by their emphasis on the study of a single genre - opera - yet are distinguished by their individualized and novel approaches by scholars from various disciplines/fields of inquiry. The remit of the series welcomes studies of seventeenth century to contemporary opera from all geographical locations, including non-Western topics.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Industrial Management
MUSIC / Genres & Styles / Opera