Perhaps musicologists are so invested in researching historical context that we are missing opportunities to interpret how and why performances of historical works and genres are meaningful today. If so, Naomi André's important new contribution to opera scholarship fills a gap in musicological writing. She does not argue against the relevance of historical context or historically informed performance practice, but she makes a strong case for balancing our considerations of what historical works might have meant in the past with what they mean today. She calls this interpretive approach “engaged musicology” (p. 1), musicology that relies on historical research and knowledge but necessitates a new focus on the way the performance...
Black Opera: History, Power, Engagement, by Naomi André
JULIA J. CHYBOWSKI is Associate Professor in the Music Department at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Her primary research area is the career and reception of nineteenth-century African American singer Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield.
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Julia J. Chybowski; Black Opera: History, Power, Engagement, by Naomi André. Journal of the American Musicological Society 1 June 2020; 73 (2): 401–405. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/jams.2020.73.2.401
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