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'Catching Up and Getting Ahead: The Opera House as Temple of Art in Berlin c. 1800'

Hambridge, Katherine (2020) ''Catching Up and Getting Ahead: The Opera House as Temple of Art in Berlin c. 1800'.', in The Oxford Handbook of the Operatic Canon. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Oxford Handbooks.


This chapter charts the changing status in Berlin of operatic repertoire associated with Friedrich II (Frederick the Great), from the gradual disappearance of opera seria by Carl Heinrich Graun and Johann Adolph Hasse to the survival of Benda’s melodramas and Singspiele, not least as throwbacks to the time of the honored Prussian monarch. Berlin’s critical commentators in this period are remarkable for their historical self-consciousness, and it’s possible to detect an emerging—and precocious—canonical discourse in the years around 1800, manifested both in the promotion of the lately arrived Gluck as a classic of the German stage, and in the proposals to create an operatic museum, intended to preserve respected theater pieces as standards of known worth. This chapter is paired with John Mangum’s “The repertory of the Italian Court Opera in Berlin, 1740–1786.”

Item Type:Book chapter
Full text:Publisher-imposed embargo until 30 September 2022.
(AM) Accepted Manuscript
File format - PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher statement:The Oxford Handbook of the Operatic Canon, edited by Cormac Newark and William Weber, 2020, reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press,
Date accepted:05 August 2015
Date deposited:18 October 2021
Date of first online publication:30 September 2020
Date first made open access:30 September 2022

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