Blackness in Opera by Naomi Andre, Karen M. Bryan, Eric Saylor, Guthrie Ramsey

By Naomi Andre, Karen M. Bryan, Eric Saylor, Guthrie Ramsey

Blackness in Opera severely examines the intersections of race and tune within the multifaceted style of opera. a various cross-section of students areas famous operas (Porgy and Bess, Aida, Treemonisha) along lesser-known works corresponding to Frederick Delius's Koanga, William furnish Still's Blue Steel, and Clarence Cameron White's Ouanga! to bare a brand new ancient context for re-imagining race and blackness in opera. the quantity brings a wide-ranging, theoretically expert, interdisciplinary method of questions on how blackness has been represented in those operas, concerns surrounding characterization of blacks, interpretation of racialized roles by means of blacks and whites, controversies over race within the theatre and using blackface, and extensions of blackness alongside the spectrum from grand opera to musical theatre and picture. as well as essays by means of students, the publication additionally positive aspects reflections by way of well known American tenor George Shirley.
Contributors are Naomi André, Melinda Boyd, Gwynne Kuhner Brown, Karen M. Bryan, Melissa J. de Graaf, Christopher R. Gauthier, Jennifer McFarlane-Harris, Gayle Murchison, Guthrie P. Ramsey Jr., Eric Saylor, Sarah Schmalenberger, Ann Sears, George Shirley, and Jonathan O. Wipplinger.

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As she cleans the room of the virtuoso violinist Daniello (who plays a seventeenth-century Amati violin), Jonny expresses his desire to steal the violin so that he can play jazz on it. Though initially foiled by Daniello’s sudden appearance, Jonny eventually steals the violin by hiding it in Anita’s banjo case. naomi andré . 21 This image of the seventeenth-century Amati violin hidden in a banjo case becomes a trope for the opera. Jazz comes to represent the new modern music in the character of Jonny, an African American foreigner in Europe.

On the contrary, music was crucial in conveying the meaning of the masque’s spectacle; the fact that much of it was not written down simply reflects the strong oral tradition of music making at the time. 24 Whether Ferrabosco’s music for this masque contributed to its connotations about difference, racial or otherwise, is a question scholars have not yet considered, most likely because the small quantity of extant music for this masque has deterred such inquiry. 25 There is no other notated music for the masque; however, all song lyrics are included as part of Jonson’s sar ah schmalenberger .

The regularity of the song’s formal, metric, and phrase structures, its emphasis on a composed solo melody, and the sequence of precise chordal harmonies all point to the new declama- sar ah schmalenberger . 39 tory style of the Baroque era (though the absence of monody would preclude its classification as operatic).

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