Research Catalog

Said on opera

Said on opera / Edward W. Said ; edited by Wouter Capitain ; foreword by Peter Sellars.
Said, Edward W.
New York : Columbia University Press, [2024]

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TextUse in library JMD 24-35Performing Arts Research Collections - Music


Additional Authors
  • Capitain, Wouter, 1985-
  • Sellars, Peter
xxxv, 119 pages; 22 cm
"In May of 1997 Edward W. Said delivered the Empson Lectures at Cambridge University under the title "Authority and Transgression in Opera." He planned to publish the lectures with Cambridge but never finished the manuscript. Some portions of the lectures were published in journals, about 20 years ago.The lecture typescripts are preserved in the Edward W. Said Papers at Columbia. The Edward W. Said Estate and Wouter Capitain have collaborated on the proposal for this book. The typescripts require minor editing, and an introduction, which Capitain plans to write. The introduction will explain the background of the lectures and position the book within Said's work on music and postcolonial theory. In four case studies on Cosi fan tutte, Fidelio, Les Troyens, and Die Meistersinger, Said deftly renders these operas more problematic and interesting than they have come to seem, thanks to his attention to both the works' historical context and the political possibilities open to contemporary interpreters. He questions the extent to which these operas are predetermined by the "authority" of their historical context, or whether they instead "transgress" their initial context and maintain their agency within contemporary society. These questions are central to Said's work at large, including in The World, The Text, and the Critic (1983), Culture and Imperialism (1993), and Humanism and Democratic Criticism (CUP 2004), which analyzes the political context of the arts while also arguing that artworks can occupy a relatively autonomous and potentially subversive position within society. "Authority and Transgression in Opera" foregrounds these questions about art and society, perhaps more than any of his other books. Said analyzes how these operas negotiate the power structures in which they operate by mirroring their historical social position to the portrayal of authority and transgression in the works themselves. He argues that the historical themes in these operas remain relevant today, and he appreciates stagings that highlight the contemporary resonances in these works"--
Bibliography (note)
  • Includes bibliographical references (pages [105]-112) and index.
Così fan tutte at the Limits -- Fidelio's Difficulties with the Past -- Les Troyens and the Obligation to Empire -- Creation and Coherence in Die Meistersinger.
Call Number
JMD 24-35
  • 9780231212007
  • 0231212003
  • 9780231212014
  • 0231212011
  • 9780231559164 (canceled/invalid)
Said, Edward W., author.
Said on opera / Edward W. Said ; edited by Wouter Capitain ; foreword by Peter Sellars.
New York : Columbia University Press, [2024]
Type of Content
Type of Medium
Type of Carrier
Includes bibliographical references (pages [105]-112) and index.
Added Author
Capitain, Wouter, 1985- editor.
Sellars, Peter, writer of foreword.
Other Form:
Online version: Said, Edward W. Said on opera New York : Columbia University Press, 2023 9780231559164 (DLC) 2023030685
Research Call Number
JMD 24-35
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