Index: Modernist Opera In The Twenty-first Century by Richard BegamIndex: Modernist Opera In The Twenty-first Century by Richard Begam

Index: Modernist Opera In The Twenty-first Century

EditorRichard Begam, Matthew Wilson Smith

Hardcover | October 14, 2016

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At first glance, modernism and opera may seem like strange bedfellows—the former hostile to sentiment, the latter wearing its heart on its sleeve. And yet these apparent opposites attract: many operas are aesthetically avant-garde, politically subversive, and socially transgressive. From the proto-modernist strains of Richard Wagner’s Parsifal through the twenty-first-century modernism of Kaija Saariaho’s L’amour de loin, the duet between modernism and opera, at turns harmonious and dissonant, has been one of the central artistic events of modernity. Despite this centrality, scholars of modernist literature only rarely venture into opera, and music scholars generally return the favor by leaving literature to one side. But opera, that grand cauldron of the arts, demands that scholars, too, share the stage with one another.

In Modernism and Opera, Richard Begam and Matthew Wilson Smith bring together musicologists, literary critics, and theater scholars for the first time in a mutual endeavor to trace certain key moments in the history of modernism and opera. This innovative volume includes essays from some of the most notable scholars in their fields and covers works as diverse as Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle, Berg’s Wozzeck, Janácek’s Makropulos Case, Thomson’s Four Saints in Three Acts, Strauss’s Arabella, Schoenberg’s Moses und Aron, Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, Britten’s Gloriana, and Messiaen’s Saint François d’Assise.

A collaborative study of the ultimate collaborative art form, Modernism and Opera reveals how modernism and opera illuminate each other and, more generally, the culture of the twentieth century. It also addresses a number of issues crucial for understanding the relation between modernism and opera, focusing in particular on intermediality (how modernism integrates music, literature, and drama into opera) and anti-theatricality (how opera responds to modernism’s apparent antipathy to theatricality). This captivating book—the first of its kind—will appeal to scholars of literature, music, theater, and modernity as well as to sophisticated opera lovers everywhere.

Richard Begam is a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the author of Samuel Beckett and the End of Modernity and the coeditor of Modernism and Colonialism: British and Irish Literature, 1899-1939. Matthew Wilson Smith is an associate professor of German studies and theater and performance studies at Sta...
Title:Index: Modernist Opera In The Twenty-first CenturyFormat:HardcoverDimensions:14 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.19 inPublished:October 14, 2016Publisher:Johns Hopkins University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1421420627

ISBN - 13:9781421420622

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Table of Contents


Richard Begam and Matthew Wilson SmithIntroduction

Part OneWorld War I and Before: Crises of Gender and Theatricality 1. Matthew Wilson Smith"Laughing at the Redeemer: Kundry and the Paradox of Parsifal"

2. Daniel Albright "Materlinck, Debussy and Modernism" 3. Klára Móricz "Echoes of the Self: Cosmic Loneliness in Bartók’s Duke Bluebeard’s Castle"

Part TwoInterwar Modernism: Movement and Countermovement

4. Bryan Gilliam"The Great War and Its Aftermath: Straussand Hofmannthal’s ‘Third-Way Modernism’"

5. Bernadette Meyler "Adorno’s Shifting Wozzeck"

6. Derek Katz"Many Modernisms, Two Makropulos Cases:capek, Janácek and the Shifting Avant-Gardes of Inter-war Prague"

7. Richard Begam"Schoenberg, Modernism and Degeneracy"

8. Cyrena Pondrom"Gertrude Stein, Minimalism and Modern Opera"

Part ThreeOpera after World War II: Tensions of Institutional Modernism

9. Herbert S. Lindenberger, "Stravinsky, Auden and the Mid-Century Modernism of The Rake’s Progress"

10. Irene Morra " Gloriana and the New Elizabethan Age"

11. Linda and Michael Hutcheon"One Saint in Eight Tableaux: The Untimely Modernism of Olivier Messiaen’s Saint François d’Assise"

12. Joy H. Calico" Saariaho’s L’amour de loin: Modernist Opera in the Twenty-First Century"

Notes on ContributorsIndex

Editorial Reviews

This is a fantastic volume, brimming with nuanced reformulations of operatic modernisms. The quality of the essays never wavers. A must-read for those interested not only in the links between modernism and music but also in the very notion of interdisciplinarity, which here is given a new lease of life.