Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Opera for the PeopleEnglish-Language Opera and Women Managers in Late 19th-Century America$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Katherine Preston

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199371655

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199371655.001.0001

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: 16 December 2019

The American Opera Company

The American Opera Company

Good Intentions, Managerial Disaster

Chapter:
(p.410) 6 The American Opera Company
Source:
Opera for the People
Author(s):

Katherine K. Preston

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199371655.003.0007

This chapter focuses on the philanthropist Jeannette Thurber, who founded the American (National) Opera Company (1885) to encourage high-caliber performances of continental operas translated into English. Her company was heavily subsidized by New York society and supported by establishment music critics. But both Thurber and her musical director Theodore Thomas misunderstood the American opera audience, and mounted serious works designed for cultural uplift, to the neglect of Italian and French operas that were popular among the general public. Society members were not interested in English-language opera because it was not sufficiently exclusive; middle-class operagoers were repelled both by the trappings of elitism and the expensive tickets. A close reinterpretation of the company’s failure reveals much about American operatic taste; it is also important in the context of this book because scholars have blamed the company’s spectacular demise on a general lack of support for English-language opera.

Keywords:   Jeannette Thurber, Theodore Thomas, American Opera Company, National Opera Company, society, music-drama, French opera, elitism, exclusive, expensive

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 .