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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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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

Underground in Buenos Aires: A Chamber Opera at the Teatro Colón

Underground in Buenos Aires: A Chamber Opera at the Teatro Colón

(p.234) Sixteen Underground in Buenos Aires: A Chamber Opera at the Teatro Colón
Operatic Geographies

Roberto Ignacio Díaz

University of Chicago Press

The Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires has long been regarded as the foremost opera house in Latin America and as a world-class stage for viewing the masterworks of the European operatic repertory. Yet, also located within its edifice, the Centro de Experimentación del Teatro Colón (CETC) provides the city’s audiences with other kinds of works – often chamber operas by Argentine composers. One such opera, V.O., with music by Martín Bauer and libretto by Beatriz Sarlo, chronicles the life and times of Victoria Ocampo, the author and publisher, even as it tells a story that obliquely concerns the geography of opera. The libretto by Sarlo (a cultural historian who had previously analyzed Ocampo’s life and work) depicts Victoria’s quest for aesthetic modernity and personal freedom. Mimicking Ocampo’s love of citation, often of foreign works, the libretto also repeatedly quotes the author’s words. This chapter argues that Sarlo’s act of citation can be read not only as admiration for Ocampo, but also as a tacit argument for local, yet cosmopolitan, operas, which, shunning the traditions of the Colón’s main auditorium, still flourish in less visible urban spaces.

Keywords:   Buenos Aires, Teatro Colón, Centro de Experimentación del Teatro Colón (CETC), chamber opera, librettos, Victoria Ocampo, Beatriz Sarlo, modernity, citation

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