Phantasmagoria: Sociology of Opera

Phantasmagoria: Sociology of Opera

First published in 1999, this original and entertaining sociological study takes a comprehensive and critical view of opera as unique cultural artefact as loss making `industry', as institution with a `museum' culture, and as consumed commodity of rare distinction and elaborate ritual.


Specific chapters deal with opera within the contexts of musicological analysis, auratic art and fetishized taste: opera as business and as `museum': singers' opera: producers' opera and audiences' opera. There is also a chapter on `opera': popular, commercialised fragments of opera outside the opera house, consumed by and through all manner of reproduced means: CD, video, Three Tenors concerts: film and TV soundtracks: advertising jingles etc.


Despite the supposed popularisation and successful commercial exploitation of `opera' during the past decade or so, this study concludes that opera remains an art-form, institution and ritual of relative inaccessibility and exclusiveness. The commercial interest in and profitability of `opera' do not translate into new `popular' audiences in the opera house.


The increased dependency of opera companies on corporate funding in the face of retreating government subsidies may have brought a new `elite' audience into the expensive seats, pandered to by the introduction of surtitles etc., but the traditional `elite' has succeeded in closing down entry to opera in other select venues where opera continues to confirm and maintain their select identity and prestige of their life-style.
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  • Product code: 9781138353558
  • Barcode: 9781138353558
  • Release date: May 31, 2019
  • Series: Routledge Revivals
  • Publishing company: Taylor & Francis Ltd
  • Year of publication: 31.05.2019
  • Book format: Hardcover
  • Pages: 489

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