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Look Inside Opera's Orbit

Opera's Orbit
Musical Drama and the Influence of Opera in Arcadian Rome


  • Date Published: February 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521116657

£ 67.00

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About the Authors
  • Exploring the dynamic yet problematic context of musical drama in Rome, this study probes opera's relationship to modernity during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century. Opera instigated a range of discourses, most notably among Rome's Academy of Arcadians, whose apprehension towards opera refracted larger aesthetic and cultural debates, and socio-political tensions. Tcharos presents a unique perspective, engaging opera as a historical force that established a sphere of influence across several genres and matrices of culture. The juxtaposition of opera against the prominent forms of the oratorio, serenata and cantata illustrates opera's constitutive role in a trans-genre cultural matrix, where the dialogical connections between musico-dramatic forms vividly capture the historicism, nostalgia, contradiction and cultural reform that opera inspired. By illuminating other genres as reactionary sites of music and drama, Opera's Orbit boldly reconstructs opera's eighteenth-century critical turn.

    • Investigates the diffusion of opera across a multi-genre spectrum, arguing that a larger genre spectrum is critical in uncovering the broader cultural and ideological assumptions of an era
    • Reveals the larger trajectory of opera's travels, from its seventeenth-century context and assumptions, to a more critical, reflective, and nostalgic eighteenth-century viewpoint
    • Explores the impact of opera and its surrounding musical culture upon a larger historical landscape of cultural reform during the early Enlightenment period
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'An interesting survey of an intriguing period, with plenty of guidance for further investigation.' Opera

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2011
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521116657
    • length: 334 pages
    • dimensions: 254 x 183 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.82kg
    • contains: 8 b/w illus. 9 music examples
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction. Opera's orbit
    1. Enclosures, crises, polemics: opera production in 1690s Arcadian Rome
    2. Disrupting the oratorio
    3. The serenata's discourses of duality
    4. The cantata, the pastoral, and the ideology of nostalgia
    5. Epilogue.

  • Author

    Stefanie Tcharos, University of California, Santa Barbara
    Stefanie Tcharos is Associate Professor of Musicology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she specializes in early modern Italian opera and related dramatic vocal music, issues of aesthetics, cultural history, and genre theory. She has published articles and reviews in the Journal of Musicology, the Cambridge Opera Journal, and Music and Letters, and was a contributor to The Cambridge History of Eighteenth-Century Music (2009).

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