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Revealing MasksExotic Influences and Ritualized Performance in Modernist Music Theater$
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W. Anthony Sheppard

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780520223028

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520223028.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 19 October 2021

Defining Music Theater

Defining Music Theater

(p.3) 1 Defining Music Theater
Revealing Masks

W. Anthony Sheppard

University of California Press

For much of the twentieth century, a good deal of compositional energy that might otherwise have been devoted to opera was redirected to the quest for new forms of theatrical-musical performance. Several composers who created relatively few operas, or none at all, composed numerous theatrical works of various sorts—staged works that fit neither the operatic nor balletic molds. Alternatively, the career of a composer otherwise committed to opera composition might contain a period of experimentation with new theatrical genres. A higher vantage point is required to appreciate the amount of compositional activity devoted to the theater in the twentieth century. The multitude of works that cannot easily be labeled “opera,” “play,” or “ballet” indicates the need for a broader and more flexible term, thus “music theater”.

Keywords:   music theater, opera, theatrical performance

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