Histories of the development of an ‘English National Opera’ in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century typically emphasize the origins of the movement in ideas about social reform, bringing together themes of democratic accessibility and national cultural renewal in a way that makes these agenda seem inextricably linked. This chapter traces an alternative discourse about opera and democracy in relation to ‘affective communities’ that extended beyond – and often ran counter to – the version of community bounded by national identity, and indeed against identity as such. This involves reading Edward J. Dent’s work on topics such as libretto translation, amateur opera productions, and the history and aesthetics of opera performance as an echo of the cosmopolitan attitude of ‘friendship’ that has been attributed to certain of his Cambridge associates – an attitude that had both political and aesthetic implications.
|Title of host publication||Music History and Cosmopolitanism|
|Editors||Anastasia Belina, Kaarina Kilpiö, Derek B. Scott|
|Place of Publication||London|
|Number of pages||13|
|Publication status||Published - 2019|