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Opera in America: A Cultural History

Dizikes, Professor John

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ISBN 10: 0300054963 / ISBN 13: 9780300054965
Published by Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, USA, 1993
Used Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Beaver Bridge Books (Holiday Island, AR, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

No price noted. Full number line. Not remaindered or library withdrawn. Mylar-protected dust jacket. Clean, tight & bright. Slight dust jacket crease on top edge. Shipped padded in a box. Bookseller Inventory # 001615

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Opera in America: A Cultural History

Publisher: Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, USA

Publication Date: 1993

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


America has had a love affair with opera in all its forms since it was first performed here in colonial times. This book - the first comprehensive cultural and social history of musical theater in the United States - includes vignettes of productions, personalities, audiences, and theaters throughout the country from 1735 to the present day. John Dizikes tells how opera, steeped in European aristocratic tradition, was transplanted into the democratic cultural environment of America. With a wealth of colorful detail, he describes how operas were performed and received in small towns and in big cities, and he brings to life little-known people involved with opera as well as famous ones such as Oscar Hammerstein, Jenny Lind, Gustav Mahler, Enrico Caruso, Milton Cross, Maria Callas, and Leonard Bernstein. He tells us about the often overlooked African American contribution to operatic history, from nineteenth-century minstrel shows to the work of Scott Joplin and Marian Anderson, and he discusses operetta and Broadway musicals, recognized everywhere in the world as one of the triumphs of American twentieth-century art. Dizikes considers the increasingly diverse operatic audiences of the twentieth century, shaped by records, radio, and television, and he describes the places where opera now flourishes - not only New York, Chicago, and San Francisco, but also St. Louis, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Santa Fe, Seattle, and elsewhere. Generously illustrated and engagingly written, the book is a fitting tribute to its subject - as grand and entertaining as opera itself.


A dozen years in the making, Dizikes' work, which won the 1993 National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism, is a milestone achievement. He begins his chronicle in the early 19th century, tracing the expansion of opera in the United States while exploring its influences at the hands of politics, war and immigration. The staging of "The Bohemian Girl" in 1844, writes Dizikes, marked the birth of modern opera in the U.S. He fills out his research with rich detail about the singers, conductors, composers, patrons and fans who collectively have shepherded opera into every corner of the country--from large urban centers to rural backwaters.

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