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HUMANITIES 369 themselves 'voicings' of anxiety about the castrate, to suggest that the freakish body and celestial singing of the castrate upset British notions of nationality and gender. This analysis is supplemented by Felicia Miller's essay on 'Farinelli's Electronic Hermaphrodite and the Contralto Tradition,' as well as Rebecca Pope and Susan Leonardi's discussion of cross-over diva Diamanda Galas. Pope and Leonardi argue that Galas sacrifices her voice, or puts it 'at risk,' in order to politicize performance and to discomfit her audience. Voices represent meanings in excess of words. Statements about vocal ambiguity permit speculation on why opera outstrips other performative genres in terms of contradictory signification. Opera draws attention to problems of nationality, exile, eros, gender, and activism by focusing on the voice as the instrument and implementation of such problems. The voice houses identity. Two declarations, cited in different essays, fruitfully probe the politics of identity: On one hand, British AIDS activist and maverickfilmmaker DerekJarman claims 'I am the Establishment.' The statement is patently untrue. Jarman's films resist the status quo and. have even been denounced in the House of Commons. He means that he speaks for the liberal tradition in Britain. He also means that queerness lies at the heart of the British polity; it cannot be argued away or disenfranchised by fiat. By contrast, Diamanda Galas, an American, makes an appeal for identity based on disenfranchisement: 'People always ask me why I am singing to a special interest group ... I tell them I am the special interest group, we all are.' Declarations of identity, whether spoken from within the establishment or from within a lobby group, bespeak the vitality of opera as a testing ground for heartfelt and vexed issues of belonging. The Work of Opera brings together in an admirable way a colloquy of voices that demonstrate the urgency of these issues, and the complexity with which opera addresses them. (ALLAN HEPBURN) Allen Andrews. Brave Soldiers, Proud Regiments:Canada's Military Heritage. Introduction by Major-General Lewis Mackenzie Ronsdale Press. 512. $19.95 'This nation was born out of conflict/ declares Major-General Lewis Mackenzie in his introduction to this book, 'and throughout our history we have fought for great causes out of all proportion to our population.' Like the book he promotes, Mackenzie wants Canadians to celebrate a military heritage rather larger than most of them now share. Individually and collectively, Canadians have participated in five of this century's wars, but as veterans of the largest of those wars fade to oblivion, whatever meagre attention span Canadians reserve for military matters is occupied by Somalia and Tan1ished Brass. Or so goes the refrain. 370 LETTERS IN CANADA 1997 Allen's book is a series of twenty-four short essays, seventeen of them biographical. Others cover such fashionable topics as Canada's nursing sisters during the First World War, Native soldiers in the world wars and Korea, and Chinese-Canadian volunteers dropped in southeast Asia at the end of the Pacific War. The author does what he can to celebrate the rank and file, but all but one of his biographees is an officer, and the exception, a private soldier at Ridgeway in 1866, is barely more than a representative participant in a military bungle. Despite a host ofpotential characters, from the nearly canonized General Georges Vanier to the first CDS, Jean-Victor Allard, the only French-Canadian included is Charles de Salaberry, victor at Chateauguay in 1813. To be fair, the remarkable General Jacques Dextraze, 'JADEX,' gets passing mention. Despite the book's title, only a single regiment, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, is featured in an essay, though the names of plenty of others flash past. As promised, Allen brings some remarkable people to life. Thayendanega (Joseph Brant) ravaged the northern frontier of New York during the Revolutionary War, before retiring with his surviving Mohawks to a new Six Nations territory around Brantford. Lieutenant-Colonel John Inglis, the son of Nova Scotia's first bishop, steadfastly defended the Residency at Lucknow during the Indian Mutiny. Under an ex-Australian, John Rockingham , a battered Royal Hamilton Light Infantry stopped a devastating German counter-attack south of Caen...


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pp. 369-370
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