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Representing the Good NeighborMusic, Difference, and the Pan American Dream$
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Carol A. Hess

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199919994

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199919994.001.0001

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Alberto Ginastera’s Bomarzo in the United States

Alberto Ginastera’s Bomarzo in the United States

Antinationalism and the Cold War

Chapter:
(p.142) 6 Alberto Ginastera’s Bomarzo in the United States
Source:
Representing the Good Neighbor
Author(s):

Carol A. Hess

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199919994.003.0006

This chapter contextualizes Ginastera’s avant-garde opera Bomarzo, which premiered in Washington, D.C. in May 1967 and was greeted with a ten-minute standing ovation led by Vice President Hubert Humphrey. So perfectly did his modernist works correspond to so-called cold war values of complexity and abstruseness that one critic even tagged Ginastera a “musical McNamara.” Critics especially praised his ability to “sublimate” the nationalism of his earlier works, reflecting the popularity of Freudian psychoanalysis in the United States. The Argentine military government, however, prohibited the Buenos Aires premiere of Bomarzo due to its sexual content, and when the opera was performed in New York a year later, critics essentially targeted difference by smugly expressing surprise over the Argentine government’s action and implicitly proposing that censorship was fit only for “other countries.” By this time the United States had resumed the hated practice of intervening in Latin America, often to support anticommunist dictators.

Keywords:   Alberto Ginastera in the United States, Bomarzo, cold war Washington, D.C, cold war musical aesthetics, sublimation, antinationalism, Freud in the cold war United States, Theodor W. Adorno, serialism in Latin America, Gilbert Chase, Inter-American Musical Festivals

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