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How to begin? Operatic introduction in late Victorian popular musical theatre

  • How to begin? This short question addresses a problem that is anything but simple, especially when regarding something as sophisticated and multilayered as musical theatre. However, scholars of this vast research area have mostly neglected this question so far. This study analyses and compares the initial sections of late Victorian popular musical theatre and is therefore a contribution to several fields of research: the analysis of initial sections of musical theatre in general, the analysis of the music of popular musical theatre in particular, and therefore operetta studies. The 1890s are especially interesting times for popular musical theatre in London: The premiered works include the last collaborations of Gilbert and Sullivan as well as offshoots of Savoy opera; but the so-called ‘naughty nineties’ also saw the emergence of a new genre, musical comedy, which captured the late Victorian zeitgeist like no other. This new form of theatrical entertainment was carefully and consciously constructed and promoted as modern and fashionable, walking a fine line between respectability and mildly risqué excitement. Because a deep understanding of the developments and new tendencies concerning popular musical theatre in the 1890s is crucial in order to interpret differences as well as similarities, the analyses of the opening numbers are preceded by a detailed discussion of the relevant genres: comic opera, musical comedy, musical play and operetta. Since the producers of the analysed works wanted to distance themselves from former and supposedly old-fashioned traditions, this book also considers influences from their British predecessors, but also from Viennese operetta and French opéra bouffe.

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Author:Sonja Jüschke
Referee:Petra Kindhäuser, Derek B. Scott, Michael Meyer
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Date of completion:2024/06/07
Date of publication:2024/06/10
Publishing institution:Universität Koblenz, Universitätsbibliothek
Granting institution:Universität Koblenz, Fachbereich 2
Date of final exam:2021/02/10
Release Date:2024/06/10
Number of pages:268 Seiten
Institutes:Fachbereich 2 / Institut für Musikwissenschaft und Musikpädagogik
Licence (German):License LogoEs gilt das deutsche Urheberrecht: § 53 UrhG