Julia H. Schröder

European Opera as Viewed from a Distance

What I hope is that the Europeans

will become more American

John Cage, 1962234

Twenty-five years after the above quotation was made in 1987, John Cage’s Europeras 1 & 2 were premiered in Frankfurt, Germany. In his title, Cage attempts one of his beloved puns, as it reads ‘Europe’s operas’ as well as ‘your operas’.235 Both readings express the distance of the New World to Old Europe’s musical tradition. Does ‘opera’ stand for a ‘European culture’? Can we find a ‘European cultural identity’ within opera tradition? And if so, can we not find similar opera traditions on other continents?

Opera as European Culture

Many of the four hundred years of opera history mostly took place in regions ...

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