How did we get here?

abbateparkerCarolyn Abbate and Roger Parker’s A History of Opera: The Last Four Hundred Years, published in 2010, is an interesting and, occasionally, perplexing read.  It looks at developments largely from a musicological perspective only rarely straying into political context and even morer rarely dealing with sociological factors surrounding opera although there is an interesting short section on French grand opéra that deals with the extent to which French opera of various kinds was subsidised and how the odd social habits of the audience shaped the works themselves.

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