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Opera in America : a cultural history

Author: John Dizikes
Publisher: New Haven : Yale University Press, ©1993.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
America has had a love affair with opera in all its forms since it was first performed here in colonial times. This book--the first comprehensive cultural and social history of musical theater in the United States--includes vignettes of productions, personalities, audiences, and theaters throughout the country from 1735 to the present day. John Dizikes tells how opera, steeped in European aristocratic tradition, was  Read more...
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Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: John Dizikes
ISBN: 0300054963 9780300054965 0300061013 9780300061017
OCLC Number: 26974819
Description: xi, 611 pages : illustrations ; 27 cm
Contents: Act one : origins, 1735-1836. The Garciás at the park ; England and Italy ; New Orleans ; Buildings and audiences ; Philadelphia ; Three American theaters ; A Columbia professor --
Interlude : Maria Malibran ----
Act two : Expansion 1836-1863. The Bohemian girl ; William Fry and the American muse ; Gold rush ; New Orleans and Havana ; The song of the nightingale ; Mario and three divas ; Boston ; Gardens and academies ; A letter from Max Maretzek ; Sweet Adeline --
Interlude : Walt Witman ----
Act three : monopoly 1863-1903. Erie, Eros and Offenbach ; Gilbert and Sullivan : from Gérolstein to Graustark ; The building of the Metropolitan Opera house ; The queen of song ; Leopold Damrosch and the triumph of Wagner ; Chicago ; On tour ; Local glories ; End of the century --
Interlude : Lillian Nordica ----
Act four : Modernism, 1903-1921. The Wagnerian aftermath ; Oscar and Goliath ; Whiskey per tutti ; Virtuoso conductors ; Boston renaissance ; The American muse again ; Treemonisha --
Interlude : Enrico Caruso and Geraldine Farrar ----
Act five : technology, 1921-1950. Chicago and Samuel Insull ; Otto Kahn and the Metropolitan ; After the crash ; The Nordic winged victory ; Four saints and Porgy and Bess ; New Deal America in peace and war --
Interlude : Milton Cross ----
Act six : Empire, 1950- The new audience ; Marian Anderson ; New York opera ; The new places ; The song of the thrush ; Three operatic monuments ; Sarah Caldwell presents ; Mozart in America --
Finale : Maria Callas.
Responsibility: John Dizikes.

Abstract:

America has had a love affair with opera in all its forms since it was first performed here in colonial times. This book--the first comprehensive cultural and social history of musical theater in the United States--includes vignettes of productions, personalities, audiences, and theaters throughout the country from 1735 to the present day. John Dizikes tells how opera, steeped in European aristocratic tradition, was transplanted into the democratic cultural environment of America. With a wealth of colorful detail, he describes how operas were performed and received in small towns and in big cities, and he brings to life little-known people involved with opera as well as famous ones such as Oscar Hammerstein, Jenny Lind, Gustav Mahler, Enrico Caruso, Milton Cross, Maria Callas, and Leonard Bernstein. He tells us about the often overlooked African American contribution to operatic history, from nineteenth-century minstrel shows to the work of Scott Joplin and Marian Anderson, and he discusses operetta and Broadway musicals, recognized everywhere in the world as one of the triumphs of American twentieth-century art. Dizikes considers the increasingly diverse operatic audiences of the twentieth century, shaped by records, radio, and television, and he describes the places where opera now flourishes--not only New York, Chicago, and San Francisco, but also St. Louis, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Santa Fe, Seattle, and elsewhere. Generously illustrated and engagingly written, the book is a fitting tribute to its subject--as grand and entertaining as opera itself. -- [Publisher description].

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