Fragments of Opera in American Exile

Joy H. Calico

in Brecht at the Opera

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780520254824
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520942813 | DOI:
Fragments of Opera in American Exile

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This chapter examines the three unfinished operas of Brecht as components of the network of texts from the American exile period. These fragments represent three modes of engagement with opera: revision of a completed text with the all–African American adaptation of Threepenny Opera; return to an abandoned fragment in the Goliath opera; and initiation of a new opera, derived from extant nonoperatic material, in The Voyages of the God of Happiness. These opera projects provided a site for the exploration of issues such as race consciousness in the United States, the political and aesthetic ramifications of the Popular Front, and the viability of parable as a vehicle for antifascist drama. This study of the unfinished texts gives rise to a model of Brecht's oeuvre as a complex, intertextual web and presents numerous areas of new inquiry.

Keywords: fragments; American exile; Threepenny Opera; Goliath opera; United States; Popular Front; antifascist drama

Chapter.  14529 words. 

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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