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Operatic GeographiesThe Place of Opera and the Opera House$
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Suzanne Aspden

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226595962

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226596150.001.0001

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Introduction: Opera and the (Urban) Geography of Culture

Introduction: Opera and the (Urban) Geography of Culture

(p.1) One Introduction: Opera and the (Urban) Geography of Culture
Operatic Geographies

Suzanne Aspden

University of Chicago Press

While theatres and opera houses have been one of the most persistent features of the urban landscape, few scholars have considered how opera’s physical situation might relate to and engage with the development of its social, cultural and political functions. This introduction examines some of the ways in which cultural geography as it has developed over recent decades might offer the tools for examining the history of the opera house as a socio-cultural phenomenon, from its European origins in tennis courts, boarding schools and theatres of all kinds, to its codification as a civic and national institution, and its replication and contestation as an expression of imperial ambition and regional pride across the globe. Aspects of the contemporary practice of cultural geography invoked begin from its so-called 'cultural' and 'spatial' 'turns' and include the politics of identity, mobility, territoriality, and post-colonialism, as well as related practices of media archaeology and intermediality.

Keywords:   opera studies, cultural geography, urban, intermediality, cultural turn, spatial turn, identity politics, mobility, territoriality, post-colonialism

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