Voicing Gender: Castrati, Travesti, and the Second Woman in Early-nineteenth-century Italian Opera

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Indiana University Press, 2006 - Music - 230 pages
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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 André 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.

 

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Contents

Modeling Voice and the Period Ear
1
The Castrato in the Nineteenth Century
16
The Crusader the Castrato and the Disguised Second Woman
51
Queens Hybridity and the Diva
89
From Hero to Pageboy
103
Voices behind the Romantic Heroine
129
Looking Ahead to Risorgimento Heroism
171
Glossary
177
Notes
183
Bibliography
213
Index
223
Back cover
233
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About the author (2006)

Naomi André is Associate Professor in the School of Music at the University of Michigan.

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