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date: 24 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter turns to South American cities to show how the notion of Italian opera as a canonic repertory began during the wars of independence in the early decades of the nineteenth century. Indeed, by the 1820s, touring operatic companies had established the Rossinian style as the seeming sound of republican modernity, though often offering only excerpts from the most popular works. The canonizing impulse proved strong even in periods where there were few performances. Variety became much greater during the 1830s, stimulating critics to lead in establishing particular tastes on a local level. Major operatic troupes arose in the 1850s to stage major works in both Buenos Aires and Montevideo, bringing an extraordinary flood of opera performances that established a canonic repertory that remained strong for the rest of the century. This chapter is paired with Karen Ahlquist’s “International opera in nineteenth-century New York: Core repertories and canonic values.”

Keywords: Buenos Aires, Montevideo, touring opera, Gioachino Rossini, Vincenzo Bellini, geographic canons, core repertories, immigration

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