The Operatic Archive: American Opera as History, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Operatic Archive

American Opera as History, 1st Edition

By Colleen Renihan


232 pages | 15 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367134327
pub: 2020-04-03
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The Operatic Archive: American Opera as History extends the growing interdisciplinary dialogue in opera studies by drawing on ideas from performance studies and the philosophy of history. Moving beyond traditional conceptions of opera as purely aesthetic, this book argues for opera’s powerful potential for historical impact and engagement in late twentieth-century works by American composers.

Considering music’s ability to express the past, distance, realistic representation, presence, and the historical sublime, this volume demonstrates how music’s ability to represent and re-create historical events and historical experience differs fundamentally from the representations and recreations of other modes (specifically, literary and dramatic representations).

Building on the work of performance scholars such as Joseph Roach, Rebecca Schneider, and Diana Taylor, and in consultation with recent debates in the philosophy of history, the book will be of interest to a wide range of scholars and researchers, particularly those working in the areas of Opera Studies and Performance Studies.

Table of Contents

Introduction: History the Extravagant Art

Chapter 1: Opera and/as History

Chapter 2: Opera as Lieu de Mémoire

Chapter 3: Opera as Historical Experience

Chapter 4: Ghost Notes—Opera, History, and Time

Chapter 5/ Conclusion: Opera at the Limits of History

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:
MUSIC / General