Catalogue


Women writing opera : creativity and controversy in the age of the French Revolution /
Jacqueline Letzter and Robert Adelson.
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c2001.
description
xvii, 341 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0520226534 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
added author
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c2001.
isbn
0520226534 (cloth : alk. paper)
catalogue key
4595971
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Robert Adelson is Assistant Professor of Clarinet at Towson University.
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"This book opens many doors, not simply those that reveal the work of women writers and composers in post-Revolution France... There is more than fine sociology and musicology here: real music is at the heart of the matter."--Christopher Hogwood, Director of the Academy of Ancient Music "Letzer and Adelson bring vividly to life a moment in cultural production unknown to most of us, and they help us understand more fully both the general problems confronting women artists and the specific conditions of this particular time and place. We now have theoretically informed studies of the careers of only a few female composers before 1900;Women Writing Operagreatly enriches our knowledge."--Susan McClary, author ofConventional Wisdom
Flap Copy
"This book opens many doors, not simply those that reveal the work of women writers and composers in post-Revolution France... There is more than fine sociology and musicology here: real music is at the heart of the matter."--Christopher Hogwood, Director of the Academy of Ancient Music "Letzer and Adelson bring vividly to life a moment in cultural production unknown to most of us, and they help us understand more fully both the general problems confronting women artists and the specific conditions of this particular time and place. We now have theoretically informed studies of the careers of only a few female composers before 1900; Women Writing Opera greatly enriches our knowledge."--Susan McClary, author of Conventional Wisdom
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2002-01-01:
The number of women involved in the creation of French opera rose considerably during the decades surrounding the Revolution, and Letzter (Univ. of Maryland) and Adelson (Towson Univ.) undertook painstaking research to translate the numbers into people, practices, and institutions. The resulting study profiles French women against the context of their musical education (or lack of it) and the politics of persuading Parisian theaters to perform what they had created. Many failed, but a good number succeeded, even though they were viewed as exceptions that proved the rule of female inferiority. Unfortunately, a major error colors the authors' view of the French scene: failing to make clear the difference between opera-comique and comic opera, they misclassify (as opera-comique), hence misinterpret, Rousseau's Le devin du village. The final chapter is a case study of Belgian/Swiss writer Isabelle de Charriere, whose works embody feminist thought of her day; though she created librettos and, in part, music for nine operas, she could persuade no troupe to perform them. This reviewer questions the relevance of this material, however interesting the life. An appendix listing operas by women (1670-1820), an extensive bibliography, and copious notes close the volume. The authors have covered their topic well and should be commended for their labors. K. Pendle University of Cincinnati
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, January 2002
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Summaries
Main Description
In the age of the French Revolution, opera was the locus of cabals, intrigues, and violent journalistic invective. Yet it was also a period when women composers and librettists gained access to concert halls as never before, some of their works among those most performed in Paris. Jacqueline Letzter and Robert Adelson's engaging history explains what made this possible. At the same time it demonstrates how the Revolution fostered many dreams and ambitions for women that would be doomed to disappointment in the repressive post-Revolutionary era. The first part of the book concentrates on the women who succeeded in bringing their operas to the stage. The authors examine their backgrounds, the institutional barriers they had to surmount, and the problems they faced in asserting their authority and authorship. The book's second half is a detailed case study of Isabelle de Charrière (1740-1805), a prolific author and composer who witnessed the success of her female colleagues but was unable to gain recognition for herself. In an analytical epilogue Letzter and Adelson discuss the status of creative women in Revolutionary culture and society.
Main Description
A fascinating look at the short-lived surge in France of women's participation in opera, the most public arena of culture in the 18th century.
Main Description
In the age of the French Revolution, opera was the locus of cabals, intrigues, and violent journalistic invective. Yet it was also a period when women composers and librettists gained access to concert halls as never before, some of their works among those most performed in Paris. Jacqueline Letzter and Robert Adelsons engaging history explains what made this possible. At the same time it demonstrates how the Revolution fostered many dreams and ambitions for women that would be doomed to disappointment in the repressive post-Revolutionary era. The first part of the book concentrates on the women who succeeded in bringing their operas to the stage. The authors examine their backgrounds, the institutional barriers they had to surmount, and the problems they faced in asserting their authority and authorship. The books second half is a detailed case study of Isabelle de Charriere (1740-1805), a prolific author and composer who witnessed the success of her female colleagues but was unable to gain recognition for herself. In an analytical epilogue Letzter and Adelson discuss the status of creative women in Revolutionary culture and society.
Main Description
In the age of the French Revolution, opera was the locus of cabals, intrigues, and violent journalistic invective. Yet it was also a period when women composers and librettists gained access to concert halls as never before, some of their works among those most performed in Paris. Jacqueline Letzter and Robert Adelson's engaging history explains what made this possible. At the same time it demonstrates how the Revolution fostered many dreams and ambitions for women that would be doomed to disappointment in the repressive post-Revolutionary era. The first part of the book concentrates on the women who succeeded in bringing their operas to the stage. The authors examine their backgrounds, the institutional barriers they had to surmount, and the problems they faced in asserting their authority and authorship. The book's second half is a detailed case study of Isabelle de Charrière (1740--1805), a prolific author and composer who witnessed the success of her female colleagues but was unable to gain recognition for herself. In an analytical epilogue Letzter and Adelson discuss the status of creative women in Revolutionary culture and society.
Long Description
In the age of the French Revolution, opera was the locus of cabals, intrigues, and violent journalistic invective. Yet it was also a period when women composers and librettists gained access to concert halls as never before, some of their works among those most performed in Paris. Jacqueline Letzter and Robert Adelson's engaging history explains what made this possible. At the same time it demonstrates how the Revolution fostered many dreams and ambitions for women that would be doomed to disappointment in the repressive post-Revolutionary era. The first part of the book concentrates on the women who succeeded in bringing their operas to the stage. The authors examine their backgrounds, the institutional barriers they had to surmount, and the problems they faced in asserting their authority and authorship. The book's second half is a detailed case study of Isabelle de Charriegrave;re (1740-1805), a prolific author and composer who witnessed the success of her female colleagues but was unable to gain recognition for herself. In an analytical epilogue Letzter and Adelson discuss the status of creative women in Revolutionary culture and society.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrationsp. xiii
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Introductionp. 1
The Authorsp. 15
Educationp. 43
The Politics of Operap. 67
Authority and Identityp. 110
The Career Manque of Isabelle de Charriere: A Case Studyp. 137
Epilogue: The Problem of the Exceptional Womanp. 213
Operas by Women Composers and Librettists, 1670-1820p. 219
Notesp. 239
Bibliographyp. 295
Indexp. 329
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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