Opera and the Politics of Tragedy
Title Details

224 Pages

22.8 x 15.2 cm

19 illus., 10 musical examples

Series: Eastman Studies in Music

Series Vol. Number: 188

Imprint: University of Rochester Press

Opera and the Politics of Tragedy

A Mozartean Museum

by Katharina Clausius

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
A curated collection of Enlightenment operas, paintings, and literary works that were all marked by the "Telemacomania" scandal, a furious cultural frenzy with dangerous political stakes.

Imaginatively structured as a guided tour, Opera and the Politics of Tragedy captures the tumultuous impact of the so-called Telemacomania crisis through its key artifacts: literary pamphlets, spoken dramas, paintings, engravings, and opera librettos (drammi per musica). Prominently featured in the gallery are two operas with direct ties to this aesthetic and political war: Mozart and Cigna-Santi's Mitridate (1770) and Mozart and Varesco's Idomeneo (1781).

Reading and listening across the Enlightenment's cultural spaces (its new public museums, its first encyclopedias, and its ever-controversial operatic theater), this book showcases the Enlightenment's disorderly historical revisionism alongside its progressive politics to expose the fertile creativity that can emerge out of the ambiguous space between what is "ancient" and what is "modern."
Exhibition List
Patrons of the Museum
Guidebook A Mozartean Museum
The Death of Tragedy
Exhibiting Enlightenment Dramma per musica
Map of the Exhibits

Entrance Hall Arts, Letters, and Music
Modern Antiquarian Spaces
"La Poésie" and its Systems
Arts and Letters
The Lyrical Impulse

Exhibit A The Poet's Prose: Mitridate
Room 1 Literary Adventures in Télémacomania
Treasonous Popularity
Sensual Lyricism
Tragic Prose on Trial
Opera as Mediator

Room 2 Mitridate's Operatic Poetry
Allegorical Mithridates
Political Mithridates
Operatic Mithridates
Transformative Farnace

Exhibit B Paintings Unseen: Idomeneo
Room 3 Imagi(ni)ng the Prose Epic
Epic Values
Painting Télémaque
Myths Invisible and Unheard
Epic Opera

Room 4 Idomeneo's Operatic Canvas
The Operatic Stage as Canvas
The Composition of an Opera
Portrait of a King
Supernatural Angles

Exit Regrets on Parting
Decorative Luxury
Prose Painting
Declassification

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KATHARINA CLAUSIUS is Assistant Professor in the Department of Literature and World Languages, Université de Montréal, Canada.

Hardcover

9781648250491

March 2023

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9781800108875

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Title Details

224 Pages

2.28 x 1.52 cm

19 illus., 10 musical examples

Series: Eastman Studies in Music

Series Vol. Number: 188

Imprint: University of Rochester Press