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German Operetta on Broadway and in the West End, 1900–1940


  • Date Published: July 2019
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108484589

£ 90.00

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About the Authors
  • Academic attention has focused on America's influence on European stage works, and yet dozens of operettas from Austria and Germany were produced on Broadway and in the West End, and their impact on the musical life of the early twentieth century is undeniable. In this ground breaking book, Derek B. Scott examines the cultural transfer of operetta from the German stage to Britain and the USA and offers a historical and critical survey of these operettas and their music. In the period 1900–1940, over sixty operettas were produced in the West End, and over seventy on Broadway. A study of these stage works is important for the light they shine on a variety of social topics of the period - from modernity and gender relations to new technology and new media - and these are investigated in the individual chapters. This book is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.

    • The first rigorous scholarly study of the cultural transfer of operetta from the German stage to Britain and the USA and its role in the development of musical theatre
    • Presents readers with a lucid and ground breaking study of the English-language adaptions of German operettas
    • Investigates the relationship between twentieth-century stage works and a variety of social topics of the period - individual chapters address issues such as modernity, cosmopolitanism, gender relations, new technology and new media
    • This book is also available as Open Access
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This virtuoso study provides valuable insights into the musical styles, business models, stars, creators and infrastructures associated with operetta during the decades surrounding the turn of the twentieth century. Scott provides salient distinctions between Viennese and Berlin operetta styles and discusses how both approaches played out in London and New York. His insights into the concepts and production systems of operetta complicate and therefore add to previous accounts of the genre. Scott's book helps us gain a deeper appreciation of this highly popular and influential part of the wider musical theatre firmament and its influence on contemporary transnational practices.' William Everett, University of Missouri, Kansas City

    'Considering that there are not that many new books on operetta in English, one must greet Derek B. Scott's fresh-off-the-press German Operetta on Broadway and in the West End, 1900-1940 with a big cheer … [the book] gives a clear overview of this particular field, as a good introduction that mentions many important aspects that will give students more than enough to do on their own in the years to follow.' Kevin Clarke, Operetta Research Center (

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2019
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108484589
    • length: 392 pages
    • dimensions: 252 x 180 x 34 mm
    • weight: 0.95kg
    • contains: 25 b/w illus. 1 table 24 music examples
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. The Production of Operetta:
    1. The music of operetta
    2. Cultural transfer: translation and transcreation
    3. The business of operetta
    4. Directors, designers and performers
    Part II. The Reception of Operetta:
    5. The reception of operetta in London and New York
    6. Operetta and intermediality
    7. Operetta and modernity
    8. Operetta and cosmopolitanism
    Postlude: the demise of operetta
    Appendix 1. Productions of operetta from the German stage on Broadway and in the West End
    Appendix 2. Longest runs of operetta from the German stage on Broadway and in the West End
    Appendix 3. Operettas with English librettos by composers for the German stage
    Appendix 4. Selected period recordings of English versions of operetta from the German stage
    Appendix 5. Selected films in English of operettas from the German stage
    Appendix 6. Research resources.

  • Author

    Derek B. Scott, University of Leeds
    Derek B. Scott is Professor of Critical Musicology at the University of Leeds. His books include Sounds of the Metropolis (2008), and Musical Style and Social Meaning (2010). His musical compositions include two symphonies for brass band and an operetta, Wilberforce. He has also worked professionally as a singer, actor and pianist on radio and TV, and in concert hall and theatre. In 2014, he was awarded an Advanced Grant by the European Research Council to fund a five-year project researching the twentieth-century reception of operettas from the German stage on Broadway and in the West End.

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