The early 19th century was a period of acute transition in operatic tradition and style, when time-honored practices gave way to the developing aesthetics of Romanticism, the rise of the tenor overtook the falling stars of the castrati, and the heroic, the masculine, and the feminine were profoundly reconfigured. These transformations resounded in operatic plot structures as well; the happy resolution of the 18th century twisted into a tragic 19th-century finale with the death of the helpless and innocent heroine-and frequently her tenor hero along with her. Female voices which formerly had sung en travesti, or basically in male drag, opposite their female character counterparts then took on roles of the second woman, a companion and foil to the death-bound heroine rather than her romantic partner. In Voicing Gender, Naomi Andre skillfully traces the development of female characters in these first decades of the century, weaving in and around these changes in voicings and plot lines, to define an emergent legacy in operatic roles.
|Publication date:||13th February 2006|
|Author:||Naomi Andre, Steven G. Smith|
|Publisher:||Indiana University Press|
|Categories:||Theory of music & musicology,|
Naomi Andre is Associate Professor in the School of Music at the University of Michigan.More About Naomi Andre, Steven G. Smith