Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Haydn's Sunrise, Beethoven's ShadowAudiovisual Culture and the Emergence of Musical Romanticism$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Deirdre Loughridge

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226337098

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226337128.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 31 May 2020

Opera as Peepshow

Opera as Peepshow

(p.62) Two Opera as Peepshow
Haydn's Sunrise, Beethoven's Shadow

Deirdre Loughridge

University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines several late eighteenth-century German operas in which a peepshow – the street entertainment purveyed by itinerant Savoyards – featured centrally. It demonstrates how the aspirations and conditions of German opera, at this time being defined by Hiller and Weisse along folk-song lines, shaped the ways in which librettists and composers integrated peepshows (both their oral performance and hidden spectacle) into operatic styles and forms. The chapter also shows how composers used the peepshow to explore ways in which music and words could point towards or substitute for visual spectacle, their solutions contributing to an understanding of the power of music to activate vision and imagination. After two decades as a popular Singspiel topic, however, the peepshow came to figure the trivial elements from which early Romantics sought to extricate German opera. The peepshow thus left twin marks on musical culture, its audiovisual form cultivating a romantic mode of listening toward visual revelation, while its lowly status contributed to hardening distinctions between high art and mere entertainment.

Keywords:   peepshow, Singspiel, German Romantic Opera, folk song, Savoyard

Chicago 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.