Opera was a prominent political forum and a potent force for nineteenth-century nationalism. As one of the most popular forms of entertainment, opera could mobilize large crowds and became the locus of ideological debates about nation-building. Despite its crucial role in national movements, opera has received little attention in the context of nationalism. In Staging the Nation: Opera and Nationalism in 19th-Century Hungary, Krisztina Lajosi examines the development of Hungarian national thought by exploring the theatrical and operatic practices that have shaped historical consciousness. Lajosi combines cultural history, political thought, and the history of music theater, and highlights the role of the opera composer Ferenc Erkel (1810-1893) in institutionalizing national opera and turning opera-loving audiences into a national public.
Experimental and Unconventional Irish Drama since the Revival
Edited by Joan FitzPatrick Dean and José Lanters
When W.B. Yeats and Lady Gregory set out in 1897 to create an Irish theatre, they expressed their openness to dramatic experimentation. However, the Abbey Theatre that was their legacy increasingly came to resist non-traditional dramaturgy. Ranging over a period of more than a century, the essays in Beyond Realism focus on theatre that has challenged what came to be perceived as the dominance of realism in Irish drama. The contributors demonstrate that, in the first half of the twentieth century, playwrights such as George Fitzmaurice, Sean O’Casey, and Jack B. Yeats produced unconventional theatre that challenged the norm of realism; they show that Irish dramatists since the 1980s, including Thomas Kilroy, Vincent Woods, and Patricia Burke Brogan further broadened the range of theatrical methods. The concluding essays on contemporary works that use multiple techniques, technology, and site-specific locations suggest that non-realistic, highly theatrical approaches are no longer the exception in Irish drama.