Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Arts of the Prima Donna in the Long Nineteenth Century$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Rachel Cowgill and Hilary Poriss

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780195365870

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195365870.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 22 October 2019

“In Imitation of My Negro Mammy”

“In Imitation of My Negro Mammy”

Alma Gluck and the American Prima Donna1

Chapter:
(p.290) Chapter 14 “In Imitation of My Negro Mammy”
Source:
The Arts of the Prima Donna in the Long Nineteenth Century
Author(s):

Susan C. Cook

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195365870.003.0016

This chapter looks at the dialogics between opera, art song and parlor ballads, blackface minstrelsy, spirituals, and crooning in the art and identity of the early twentieth-century prima donna. Singing mammy songs enabled Alma Gluck to comply with a pervasive American Africanism in the United States, while mitigating her alterity both as a woman of Romanian Jewish ancestry and as a professional opera singer. But it also acknowledged the intimate, symbiotic relationship between the mammy and the high-born Southern lady, which shaped ideas of female vocality, domesticity, and maternalism profoundly in the American imagination. In addition, this chapter’s discussion highlights how radically the development of commercial recording unsettled the categories of “high art” and “popular art,” and exposed perceptions of “color” and “class” in vocal performance to manipulation and renegotiation.

Keywords:   art song, popular art, commercial recording, parlor ballad, blackface minstrelsy, spirituals, crooning, mammy, Alma Gluck, American Africanism, Southern lady, maternalism, color, class

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .