Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 16 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Opera counts among the very few genres in the history of artistic creation in which theory came before practice: rather than recognized as a genre after it had been in existence for some time, as usually happens, opera was famously “invented.” At the same time, perhaps no other genre relies on convention as heavily as opera. How could such a convention-bound genre be “invented”? This chapter attempts to answer this question, discussing first the “invention” of opera, and then the ways in which the category of genre has been employed in the aesthetic and historiographical discourse on opera, with special focus on a few emblematic cases such as Don Giovanni, Fidelio, Carmen, Wagner’s music dramas, and modernist music theater.

Keywords: opera, genre, convention, Don Giovanni, Fidelio, Carmen, Wagner, modernist music theater

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.