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date: 16 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

In “Thebes in the New World: Revisiting the New York Antigone of 1845,” Fiona Macintosh brings new evidence to what is often erroneously cited as the “first” professional production on the American stage at Palmo’s Theatre, New York. Drawing on comparative material from the contemporaneous Dublin production, and on the wider production history of this landmark Antigone, with Felix Mendelssohn’s music, which toured Europe 1841–5, this chapter argues that the failure of the New York Antigone was not due, as is often alleged, to any kind of cultural “unpreparedness” on the part of New York audiences. Instead, the production and its burlesque need to be discussed in the context of the recent new wave of German immigration, which explains how it prompted local rather than broader political concerns.

Keywords: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Sophocles' Antigone, Helen Faucit, Charlotte Vandenhoff, George Vandenhoff, Palmo's Theatre, Italian opera, German immigration, Jean Mounet-Sully

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