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Gaiety, Glitz and Glamour, or Dispirited Historical Dregs?  A Re-evaluation of Operetta

Thursday 10 - Saturday 12 January, 2019
School of Music, University of Leeds

An international conference in affiliation with the project German Operetta in London, New York and Warsaw, 1906–1939 (GOLNY), funded by the European Research Council.

In 1903, in an early attempt to write a critical history of operetta, Erich Urban perceived a common thread linking international manifestations of operetta. He was optimistic about its future, insisting that operetta had its own justification, meaning and history. Barely thirty years later, Theodor Adorno condemned operetta as a musical genre containing only dispirited historical dregs. In recent years, operetta has enjoyed renewed interest among musicologists in various countries. This conference aims to reassess operetta and engage with present scholarship.

We warmly invite proposals relating to nineteenth- and twentieth-century operetta, on topics such as:

  • Operettas and social and moral values
  • Audience reception of operetta
  • The transfer and adaptation of operetta across borders
  • Operetta and politics
  • The business of operetta
  • Screen operettas
  • New possibilities for operetta as more of its music enters the public domain

The keynote speaker will be Kevin Clarke, author, broadcaster, and director of the Operetta Research Center Amsterdam.

Reading Committee

  • Micaela Baranello (University of Arkansas)
  • Anastasia Belina (Royal College of Music, London)
  • Lisa Feurzeig (Grand Valley State University, Michigan)
  • Valeria De Lucca (University of Southampton)
  • Anne Kauppala (Sibelius Academy, Helsinki)
  • Matthias Kauffmann (Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen)
  • Clair Rowden (University of Cardiff)
  • Derek B. Scott (University of Leeds)