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Orientalism and the Operatic World

Tarling, Nicholas

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ISBN 10: 1442245433 / ISBN 13: 9781442245433
Published by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
New Condition: New Hardcover
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Num Pages: 354 pages, black & white illustrations. BIC Classification: AVC; AVGC9. Category: (P) Professional & Vocational. Dimension: 238 x 157 x 24. Weight in Grams: 614. . 2015. Hardcover. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9781442245433

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Title: Orientalism and the Operatic World

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

About this title


Western opera is a globalized and globalizing phenomenon and affords us a unique opportunity for exploring the concept of “orientalism,” the subject of literary scholar Edward Said’s modern classic on the topic. Nicholas Tarling’s Orientalism and the Operatic World places opera in the context of its steady globalization over the past two centuries. In this important survey, Tarling first considers how the Orient appears on the operatic stage in Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and the United States before exploring individual operas according to the region of the “Orient” in which the work is set.

Throughout, Tarling offers key insights into such notable operas as George Frideric Handel’s Berenice, Giuseppe Verdi’s Aida, Giacomo Puccini’s MadamaButterfly, Pietro Mascagni’s Iris, and others. Orientalism and the Operatic World argues that any close study of the history of Western opera, in the end, fails to support the notion propounded by Said that Westerners inevitably stereotyped, dehumanized, and ultimately sought only to dominate the East through art. Instead, Tarling argues that opera is a humanizing art, one that emphasizes what humanity has in common by epic depictions of passion through the vehicle of song.

Orientalism and the Operatic World is not merely for opera buffs or even first-time listeners. It should also interest historians of both the East and West, scholars of international relations, and cultural theorists.

About the Author:

Nicholas Tarling is former professor of history at the University of Auckland, where he taught for nearly thirty years. A specialist in the history of Southeast Asia, he has published extensively on the region’s history and culture. As a music aficionado, he has programmed broadcasts on opera for Radio New Zealand, reviews regularly for Opera magazine, prepares and conducts pre-concert talks, and writes concert program notes. He is the author of Choral Masterpieces: Major and Minor (2014).

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