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160061 VO Verismo and Exoticism in Music Theatre Around 1900 (2015W)


Language: German

Examination dates



Donnerstags, 16:00-17:30, HS 1, Institut für Musikwissenschaft
1. Termin: 08.10.2015
Es gibt an der Musikwissenschaft KEINE Anmeldung für Vorlesungen (VO).


Aims, contents and method of the course

Among the styles of European stage art around 1900 realism and exoticism are contrasts. The middle-class audiences were more interested in realistic background description than in representative subjects. The verismo promised to show true facts. Mascagni's „Cavalleria rusticana“, Leoncavallo's „Pagliacci“, Puccini's and Leoncavallo's „La Bohème“ were widely welcomed. The vocal expression and sound colours of the singers conveyed the 'real' psychological situation of the characters. On the contrary exoticism, which had a long tradition as theatrical means to demonstrate the ambit of power of colonial empires, flourished on stage. The world exhibitions raised the audiences' interest in exotic areas, especially as they could serve as escapes from industrial workplaces. Orientalism and Japonism infiltrated the subjects of operas of Delibes, Massenet, Puccini and Strauss. The composers integrated elements of the exotic music and thereby dissolved the bonds of traditional tonality. Around 1910 orientalism peaked in Paris. Sergej Djagilev's "Ballets Russes" promoted the fashion with Rimsky-Korsakov's „Scheherazade“ in Mikhail Fokine's choreography and Leon Baksts scenery, till the First World War began to expose the phantasmagoria.

Assessment and permitted materials

MC test at the end of the semester and at three additional dates about selected subjects according to previous information on Moodle

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Analysis of the presentation of the "real" in verismo and of the "exotic" foreign in opera, operetta, ballet and musicals, reflections on alterity and states of civilization, also with regard to integration programs in globalization

Examination topics

Historiographic description, musical and dramaturgic analysis, history of the reception

Reading list

The bibliography will be published on Moodle at the beginning of the semester.

Association in the course directory

B03, B10; M01, M03, M04, M05, M07; EC EMG 2

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:35