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This volume, a revised and extended version of two well-reviewed books published in German and Czech, explores the social and political background to this “opera mania” in nineteenth century Central Europe. After tracing the major trends in the opera history of the period, including the emergence of national genres of opera and its various social functions and cultural meanings, the author contrasts the histories of the major houses in Dresden (a court theater), Lemberg (a theater built and sponsored by aristocrats), and Prague (a civic institution). Beyond the operatic institutions and their key stage productions, composers such as Carl Maria von Weber, Richard Wagner, Bedřich Smetana, Stanisław Moniuszko, Antonín Dvořák, and Richard Strauss are put in their social and political contexts. The concluding chapter, bringing together the different leitmotifs of social and cultural history explored in the rest of the book, explains the specificities of opera life in Central Europe within a wider European and global framework.

Table of Contents

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  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page and Copyright
  2. pp. i-iv
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  1. Dedication
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. p. vii
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  1. Abbreviations
  2. p. viii
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  1. List of Illustrations
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Foreword
  2. pp. xi-xii
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  1. Part One
  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-28
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  1. Part Two: The Royal Theater in Dresden
  1. 1. Organization and Control of the Royal Theater
  2. pp. 31-46
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  1. 2. Constructing National Culture
  2. pp. 47-66
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  1. 3. Europeanization and Musical Modernism
  2. pp. 67-86
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  1. Part Three: The Polish Theater in Lemberg
  1. 4. Social Foundations
  2. pp. 89-110
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  1. 5. Provincial Opera
  2. pp. 111-130
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  1. Part Four: The Czech National Theater in Prague
  1. 6. Launching the National Theater Project
  2. pp. 133-148
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  1. 7. A Theater for All Classes
  2. pp. 149-158
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  1. 8. The Opera Nation
  2. pp. 159-192
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  1. Part Five: Comparison, Cultural Transfers, and Networks
  1. 9. Opera and Society
  2. pp. 195-204
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  1. 10. Nationalizing Opera
  2. pp. 205-236
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  1. 11. Cultural Exchanges and Europeanization
  2. pp. 237-254
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  1. Bibliography and Sources
  2. pp. 255-284
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 285-286
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 287-291
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