Siren Songs by Mary Ann Smart
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Siren Songs
By Mary Ann Smart

Siren Songs

Representations of Gender and Sexuality in Opera

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Format: Paperback

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Siren Songs by Mary Ann Smart

Book Description

It has long been argued that opera is all about sex. Siren Songs is the first collection of articles devoted to exploring the impact of this sexual obsession, and of the power relations that come with it, on the music, words, and staging of opera. Here a distinguished and diverse group of musicologists, literary critics, and feminist scholars address a wide range of fascinating topics--from Salome's striptease to hysteria to jazz and gender--in Italian, English, German, and French operas from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries. The authors combine readings of specific scenes with efforts to situate these musical moments within richly and precisely observed historical contexts. Challenging both formalist categories of musical analysis and the rhetoric that traditionally pits a male composer against the female characters he creates, many of the articles work toward inventing a language for the study of gender and opera. The collection opens with Mary Ann Smart's introduction, which provides an engaging reflection on the state of gender topics in operatic criticism and musicology. It then moves on to a foundational essay on the complex relationships between opera and history by the renowned philosopher and novelist Catherine Clement, a pioneer of feminist opera criticism. Other articles examine the evolution of the "trouser role" as it evolved in the lesbian subculture of fin-de-siecle Paris, the phenomenon of opera seria's "absent mother" as a manifestation of attitudes to the family under absolutism, the invention of a "hystericized voice" in Verdi's Don Carlos, and a collaborative discussion of the staging problems posed by the gender politics of Mozart's operas. The contributors are Wye Jamison Allanboork, Joseph Auner, Katherine Bergeron, Philip Brett, Peter Brooks, Catherine Clement, Martha Feldman, Heather Hadlock, Mary Hunter, Linda Hutcheon and Michael Hutcheon, M.D., Lawrence Kramer, Roger Parker, Mary Ann Smart, and Gretchen Wheelock.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780691058139
ISBN-10: 069105813X
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x 17mm)
Pages: 288
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 16-Oct-2000
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...


Books By Author Mary Ann Smart

Secular Commedia by Mary Ann Smart Secular Commedia, Hardback (June 2014)

Hearing the symphonies and concertos of Haydn and Mozart with an ear tuned to operatic style, as their earliest listeners did, this book shows that this familiar music is built on a set of mimetic associations drawn from conventional modes of depicting character and emotion in opera buffa.

Mimomania by Mary Ann Smart Mimomania, Paperback (February 2005)

When Nietzsche dubbed Richard Wagner 'the most enthusiastic mimomaniac' ever to exist, he was objecting to a hollowness he felt in the music, a crowding out of any true dramatic impulse by extravagant poses and constant nervous movements. This book takes his accusation as an invitation to listen to Wagner's music.

Reading Critics Reading by Mary Ann Smart Reading Critics Reading, Hardback (June 2001)

Examines opera and ballet criticism in early nineteenth-century France, taking seriously the motivations and beliefs of journalist critics. Rather than seeing their work as useful primarily for its raw factual information, the essays collected here looks at the historical, cultural, and aesthetic background that led critics to write as they did.

» View all books by Mary Ann Smart

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Secular Commedia by Mary Ann Smart
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Reading Critics Reading by Mary Ann Smart
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