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Brecht at the Opera$
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Joy H. Calico

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780520254824

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520254824.001.0001

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Fragments of Opera in American Exile

Fragments of Opera in American Exile

(p.76) 3 Fragments of Opera in American Exile
Brecht at the Opera

Joy H. Calico

University of California Press

This chapter examines the three unfinished operas of Brecht as components of the network of texts from the American exile period. These fragments represent three modes of engagement with opera: revision of a completed text with the all–African American adaptation of Threepenny Opera; return to an abandoned fragment in the Goliath opera; and initiation of a new opera, derived from extant nonoperatic material, in The Voyages of the God of Happiness. These opera projects provided a site for the exploration of issues such as race consciousness in the United States, the political and aesthetic ramifications of the Popular Front, and the viability of parable as a vehicle for antifascist drama. This study of the unfinished texts gives rise to a model of Brecht's oeuvre as a complex, intertextual web and presents numerous areas of new inquiry.

Keywords:   fragments, American exile, Threepenny Opera, Goliath opera, United States, Popular Front, antifascist drama

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