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date: 15 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This introduction to The Oxford Handbook of Opera provides a summary to the main themes of the volume: opera as a genre, the balance of words and music, performance history, cultural history, transmission and reception, and contemporary opera. The themes are discussed as questions: what is opera? How does the fluidity of the art form play out in productions and in the physical reproductions of the scores and libretti? How does a creator of opera balance the words, the music, and the stagecraft? Why do Italians and Italian operas still dominate the conversation? The introduction lays out the topics of the fifty essays contained in this volume, capturing the highly charged dynamic between opera and its audience.

Keywords: Opera, Genre, Intertextuality, Libretto, Voice, Chorus, Production Aesthetics and Materials, Regietheater/ Director’s Theater, Politics, Operatic Canon, Critics

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