Siren Songs: Representations of Gender and Sexuality in Opera (Princeton Studies in Opera)

Siren Songs: Representations of Gender and Sexuality in Opera (Princeton Studies in Opera)

By: Mary Ann Smart (editor)Paperback

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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.

About Author

Mary Ann Smart is Assistant Professor of Music at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the editor of the critical edition of Donizetti's Dom S bastien (to appear in L'edizione critica delle opere di Gaetano Donizetti) and, with Roger Parker, of Reading Critics Reading: Criticism of French Opera from the Revolution to 1848. She is also a contributor to The New Grove Dictionary of Music and the Cambridge Companion to Grand Opera (forthcoming).


Acknowlegments vii Introduction by Mary Ann Swart 3 Through Voices, History by Catht~riuc Clement 17 The Absent Mother in Oprah Seria by Martha Feldman 29 Staging Mozart's Women by Wye Jamison Allanbrook, Mary Hunter, Gretchen A. Wheelock 47 The Career of Cherubino, Or the Trouser Role Grows Up by Heather Hadlock 67 Elisabeth's Last Act by Roger Parker 93 Body and Voice in Melodrama and Opera by Peter Brooks 118 Ulterior Motives: Verdi's Recurring Themes Revisited by Mary Ann Smart 135 Melisande's Hair, or the Trouble in Allemonde: A Postmodern Allegory at the Opera-Comique by Katherine Bergeron 160 Opera: Two or Three Things I Know about Her by Lawrence Kramer 186 Staging the Female Body: Richard Strauss's Salome by Linda Hutcheon and Michael Hutcheon, M.D. 204 "Soulless Machines" and Steppenwolves: Renegotiating Masculinity in Krenek's Jonny spiel auf~ by Joseph HHenry Auner 222 "Grimes Ia at His Exercise": Sex, Politics, and Violence in the Librettos of Peter Grimes by Phillip Brett 237 Notes 251 Indexs 295

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780691058139
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 288
  • ID: 9780691058139
  • weight: 454
  • ISBN10: 069105813X
  • translations: English
  • language of text: English

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