The Balcony, Yokohama (Edward Atkinson Hornel, 1894).
“Dolore” in the first American production at the Metropolitan Opera
Read the complete libretto in English translation here.
Watch the complete opera here in a 1975 film version. No subtitles (but you won’t need them because you have the libretto!), but beautifully and sensitively performed.
Orientalism: “La Japonaise (Mme. Monet in Kimono” (Claude Monet, 1875).
Photo from Operation Babylift, Saigon, 1975: a U.S. Naval officer about to take a Vietnamese orphan, one of thousands, onboard a plane to be adopted in America. For more on Operation Babylift, go here:
A French film version of the complete opera made in 1996: this is the one we will be analyzing in class.
The opposite of orientalism? More than 100,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry were imprisoned without charge during World War II:
For more, go here to the fascinating
50 Objects/Stories site:
verbunkos, a Hungarian Roma dance.
The third movement of Brahms’s Violin Concerto in D Major.
The young Brahms first heard Roma music as a boy in Hamburg, which was a way station to American for refugees from the many failed revolutions throughout Eastern Europe in 1848-49. In 1851 he embarked on a tour with the Hungarian violinist Eduard Reményi, who styled himself a Romani, introduced him to
verbunkos music. Some of the folk melodies that Reményi taught Brahms appear in the latter’s Hungarian Dances for four-hands piano.
Was what Brahms did cultural appropriation?
Was what Reményi did cultural appropriation, since in reality he was Jewish, not Roma, and was born Eduard Hoffmann?
This is a Romani instrument called a cimbalom.
In his Hungarian Rhapsody no. 11, Franz Liszt directed the pianist to play “quasi un zimbalo” — like a cimbalom. Does the piano sound like the cimbalom?
In fact, Liszt, who declared, “I remain from birth to the grave, in heart and mind,
a Magyar” (i.e., Hungarian), was unable to speak the Hungarian language (he did speak German, French, and Italian).
Do you think Liszt engaged in cultural appropriation by composing in the style of a Romani instrument?
What about Bizet’s