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Nineteenth-century French opera is renowned for its obsession with “the exotic”—that is, with lands and peoples either located far away from “us” Western Europeans or understood as being very different from us. One example: hyper-passionate Spaniards and “Gypsies” in Bizet’s Carmen. Most...
This article considers the 1830 London premiere of Bellini’s Il pirata as virtual tourism. Musicologists, singers, and critics have long acknowledged opera’s power to transport listeners into other worlds, but there has been no sustained critique of opera as a mediation of tourist experience....
Years before Montmartre’s cabarets artistiques took Europe by storm, the Cabaret Paul Niquet thrived as a Right-Bank tavern popular among Paris’s laborers, vendors, and criminals during the early nineteenth century. It became notorious not only for its clientele, but also for its vivid...
Conventional histories of Russian opera mark Mikhail Glinka’s 1836 opera Zhizn’ za tsarya (A Life for the Tsar) as the point of origin for Russian nationalist opera that quickly burst into full bloom, yet by the middle of the century homegrown opera had fallen out of performance repertory in...
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