Abstract and Keywords
This chapter charts how canonic repertories evolved in very different forms in New York City during the nineteenth century. The unstable succession of entrepreneurial touring troupes that visited the city adapted both repertory and individual pieces to the audience’s taste, from which there emerged a major theater, the Metropolitan Opera, offering a mix of German, Italian, and French works. The stable repertory in place there by 1910 resembles to a considerable extent that performed in the same theater today. Indeed, all of the twenty-five operas most often performed between 1883 and 2015 at the Metropolitan Opera were written before World War I. The repertory may seem haphazard in its diversity, but that very condition proved to be its strength in the long term. This chapter is paired with Benjamin Walton’s “Canons of real and imagined opera: Buenos Aires and Montevideo, 1810–1860.”
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