By examining theoretical debates about the nature of nineteenth-century German opera and analyzing the genre’s development and its international dissemination, this book shows German opera’s entanglement with national identity formation. The thorough study of German opera debates in the first half of the nineteenth century highlights the esthetic and ideological significance of this relatively neglected repertoire, and helps to contextualize Richard Wagner’s attempts to define German opera and to gain a reputation as the German opera composer par excellence. By interpreting Wagner’s esthetic endeavors as a continuation of previous campaigns for the emancipation of German opera, this book adds an original and significant perspective to discussions about Wagner’s relation to German nationalism.
Kasper van Kooten, Ph.D. (2016), University of Amsterdam, currently works for classical music label PENTATONE. He has published on the operas of Giacomo Puccini, Richard Wagner and Hippolyte Chélard, amongst others.
Anyone interested in nineteenth-century German opera and its entanglement with national identity formation, as well as those with an interest for the art and thought of Richard Wagner.