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The Opera Journal: Recent Issues

Please note: Abstract and Keyword publication began in Spring/Summer 2022 Vol. 55, no. 1, as did the shift to a “Spring/Summer” “Autumn/Winter” designation.

Spring/Summer 2022: Vol. 55, no. 1

Christy Thomas Adams and Joshua Neumann, “Letter from the Editors”

Allison R. Smith, “Stable Itinerancy: The Entanglement of Past and Present in Postaparteid South African Opera”

Abstract: This essay examines the ways in which opera singers make a living in contemporary South Africa. South African opera companies almost exclusively tour abroad, forcing singers to travel internationally often. Additionally, the singers must travel far to attend rehearsals and performances because many live in townships, or shanty towns, which are far from the city center where opera rehearsals and performances occur. This domestic travel is often expensive, undependable, and unsafe. However, the local opera industry frames this constant movement or travel as opportunity. Rather, I argue that such movement is a result of a broken wage system borne from racial and wealth inequality maintains the status quo of movement as a means to maintain economic stability as an opera singer in South Africa. This essay draws from fieldwork conducted virtually and in Cape Town between 2019 and 2022, as well as from Black studies (Hartman 1997) and opera studies (Abbate 2001; Dolar 2006). It also incorporates two case studies: one of Christopher Honoré’s 2016 production of Mozart’s Così fan tutte performed by the Cape Town Opera, and one of the film version of Isango Ensemble’s U-Carmen eKhayelitsha (2006). The essay concludes with possible topics for further research.

Keywords: opera, South Africa, movement, apartheid

Rebekah M. Erdman, “The Immortal Hour of the English Choral Drama”

Abstract: Rutland Boughton’s opera, The Immortal Hour, premiered on August 26, 1914, just weeks following the start of World War I. Despite the less-than-ideal premiere conditions, positive reception grew steadily over the following years as the opera gained supporters and received increased critical attention, until its record-breaking 1922 and 1923 London runs. Press responses reveal that the key element that led to the success of the opera was the belief that Boughton had created of a truly “English opera” through his use of Fiona MacLeod’s play as a basis for his libretto and his effective setting of the English text. Nonetheless, these alone do not explain the work’s unprecedented success. As the press accounts confirm, it was arguably Boughton’s innovations in the choral drama form that secured its success. With choral singing already an important element in the English musical tradition, combined with the chorus’s roles as living scenery, character, narrator, commentator, and a cappella self-accompaniment, the chorus became a fully integrated and essential part of the opera and the deciding factor for its success. Boughton’s choral drama was able to express human emotions, thereby enhancing the impact of the drama and enchanting English audiences, critics, and musicians alike.

Keywords: Rutland Boughton, choral drama, English opera, The Immortal Hour

Henry Price, “Emanuel and Eleonore Schikaneder: Coming into Their Own, 1777–79”

Abstract: Emanuel Schikaneder is remembered as the impresario and librettist behind the creation of Die Zauberflöte (1791). Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed the music for Theater auf der Wieden in Vienna, which was managed by Schikaneder and his wife Eleonore. Most of the secondary literature about Emanuel Schikaneder focuses on the period of his directorship of Theater auf der Wieden (1788-1801). But there has been relatively little focus on Eleonore Schikaneder’s contributions, nor on the couple’s first years as theater directors (1778-1779).

This article uses previously unpublished archival documentation and recently available digital sources—namely the published journals of company member Friderich Hasenest—to follow the Schikaneders’ strategies for securing engagements during their first two years leading a theater company. It also underscores the accomplishments of Eleonore Schikaneder. The accompanying tables allow the reader to trace the company’s grueling schedule of performances and evolving repertory. The author provides new translations of contemporary reviews and commentary. The documentation presented illustrates that although the Schikaneders ran afoul of authorities more than once, they were still able to parlay success with the public and support of influential friends into the development of a private theatrical enterprise of lasting importance.

Keywords: Schikaneder, Mozart, Neukäufler, Hasenest, Wandertruppen

December 2021: Vol. 54, no. 2

Articles:

Michael S. Richardson, “Wagner’s Tannhäuser, Hagen’s Minnesinger, and the Missing Volksbuch

Marianna Sideri, “Opera in Opera: A Catalogue of Self-Referential Italian Operas”

Jessica Sommer, “Britten’s Singing Ghosts: Embodied Narrative in The Turn of the Screw

Amy Zigler, “‘What a splendid chance missed!’: Dame Ethel Smyth’s Der Wald at the Met”

Historic Interview:

Bruce Duffie, “Andrew Foldi, bass-baritone/director”

Book Review:

Kathleen Roland-Silverstein, “Naomi André’s Black Opera: History, Power, Engagement

June 2021: Vol. 54, no. 1

Articles:

Ephraim David, “Dialectic Norma: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Bellini’s Opera”

Michael Halliwell, “The readiness is all: Brett Dean’s Hamlet in Glyndebourne and Adelaide”

Stephen Mould, “From bel canto to verismo: How the rise of the conductor influenced the transformation of Italian opera during the long nineteenth century.”

Historic Interview:

Bruce Duffie, “Thomas Gilbert, Props Manager, Chicago Lyric Opera”

December 2020: Vol. 53, no. 2

Articles:

Alessandra Petrina, “‘This opera will win for me a martyr’s crown’: Conflict in Beethoven’s Fidelio

Jacomien Prins, “Music as Remedy for Lovesickness in Francesco Cavalli’s Artemisia

Timothy S. Flynn, “Thoughts of an Opera Composer: Some Primary Source Materials of Gian Carlo Menotti in the Mario di Bonaventura Collection at Northwestern University”

Historic Interview:

Bruce Duffie, “William Brown, tenor”

Book Review:

Kathleen Roland-Silverstein, “Alex Ross’s Wagnerism: Art and Politics in the Shadow of Music

June 2020: Vol. 53, no. 1

Articles:

Ji Yeon Lee, “A Critical Survey of Musical Dynamism from Bel canto to Verismo Opera”

Richard Masters, “The Doge Comes to America: A Reception History of Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra in the United States”

Historic Interview:

Bruce Duffie, “Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor”

Book Review:

Kathleen Roland-Silverstein, “Lynn Helding’s The Musician’s Mind: Teaching, Learning, and Performance in the Age of Brain Science

December 2019: Vol. 52, no. 2

Articles:

Linda Lister and Matthew Hoch, “Opera Composed by Women: A Brief History”

Lisa Pollock Mumme, “‘Angelica di voce’: Ángela Peralta as Nineteenth-Century Diva”

Historic Interview:

Bruce Duffie, “Dawn Upshaw, soprano”

Book Review:

Kathleen Roland-Silverstein, “Claudia Friedlander’s The Singer’s Audition & Career Handbook

June 2019: Vol. 52, no. 1

Articles:

Piper Pack-Smith, “Rediscovering the Unique Role of the Contralto in the Operas of Gioachino Rossini”

Michael Ewans, “Schreker’s Die Gezeichneten: Motifs and Meanings”

Research in Practice:

Sooah Park, “Video Integration in Mozart’s The Magic Flute

Historic Interview:

Bruce Duffie, “Charles Nelson Reilly, actor/director”

Book Review:

Kathleen Roland-Silverstein, “Susan McClary’s The Passions of Peter Sellars: Staging the Music

Justin John Moniz, “Robin Rice’s Great Teachers on Great Singing

December 2018: Vol. 51, no. 2

Articles:

Bonnie Cutsforth-Huber, “More than a Songbird: The Career of Gloria Cutsforth Allen”

Jared Hedges, “Ekphrasis and Frank Martin’s Aesthetic Ethic in Der Sturm

Research in Practice:

Ariana Wyatt, Tracy Cowden, Ico Bukvic, and Katie Dredger, “OPERAcraft: Opera Outreach for the 21st Century”

Historic Interview:

Bruce Duffie, “Janine Reiss, vocal coach”

Book Review:

Kathleen Roland-Silverstein, “Linda Lister’s So You Want to Sing Light Opera: A Guide for Performers

June 2017: Vol. 50, no. 1

Articles:

Michael S. Richardson, “Wagner’s Tannhäuser, Hagen’s Minnesinger, and the Missing Volksbuch

Historic Interview:

Bruce Duffie, “Andrew Foldi, bass-baritone/director”

Book Review:

Kathleen Roland-Silverstein, “Naomi André’s Black Opera: History, Power, Engagement

For content information about previous issues, please contact the Executive Director at execdir@noa.org with the volume/issue or date requested.