Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Curtain, Gong, SteamWagnerian Technologies of Nineteenth-Century Opera$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Gundula Kreuzer

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780520279681

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520279681.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 28 June 2022



Opera, Staging, Technologies

(p.1) Introduction
Curtain, Gong, Steam

Gundula Kreuzer

University of California Press

Starting with the Metropolitan Opera’s paradoxical emphasis on both authenticity and technological innovation in its 2010–12 Ring cycle, the introduction highlights the longstanding dissociation in European thought of the technical and the cultural, a distinction that influenced both the aesthetics and the study of nineteenth-century opera. A post-revolutionary appetite for realism and spectacle was fed by the ever more advanced stage technologies that composers deployed to realize their creative visions. But, as Richard Wagner championed in his 1849 essay “The Art-Work of the Future,” the artificiality of these supplementary machineries had to be veiled so that they might appear a natural part of the illusionist stage image. Novel “Wagnerian technologies” were designed to be perceived as media interfaces and thus to promote opera’s intended seamless multimediality. The study of their application and reception over time sheds new light on the materiality, ephemerality, and historicity of operatic staging.

Keywords:   Metropolitan Opera, history of technology, opera, staging, Richard Wagner, The Art-Work of the Future, multimediality, realism

California Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.