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Subject: Re: The most influential opera to impact our own time is:
From: donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 25 Jan 2018 08:33:05 -0500
Content-Type:text/plain
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text/plain (116 lines)


I'm relieved; I had anticipated yet another attack on
the current political scene.  If all you had in mind was
yet another upward boost of HAMILTON, that's your
prerogative, and I'm learning to live with it.

Thanks for digging up the plot of BLACK CROOK; I had
always imagined that it was a revue of some sort, but you
make a good case for the influence of DER FREISCHUTZ.

dtmk

On Wed, Jan 24, 2018 at 11:23 PM, James Camner <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Well thanks Bob, I'm glad you missed me.
>
> The answer is straightforward:
>
> Der Freischutz, the very first German Romantic opera, which premiered in
> 1821
> made a huge splash in London in 1824 leading to four adaptations of it
> there, and
> even bringing Weber to London to conduct it and to create an opera  for
> the British
> stage, Oberon.
>
> Those adaptations of Der Freischutz which played in the main London
> theaters and
> all around the UK and in English speaking countries were presented on
> bills along
> with pantomimes, short plays, even Shakespeare. The many subsequent ballet
> extravaganzas which had magical themes were all influenced by Der
> Freischutz and
> those works made their way to the United States. So did the most prominent
> Agathe of the 19th Century, Jenny Lind.
>
> But where Der Freischutz made the most direct impact in the United States
> which is
> still being felt today, was the appearance in 1866 of a hodgepodge musical
> "The
> Black Crook" which is considered by most historians to be the birth of the
> American
> Broadway Musical and thus, the link between Der Freischutz and works like
> Oklahoma!, My Fair Lady, and Hamilton is direct.
>
> Those who know the plot of Der Freischutz will recognize the similarities.
> Here is
> the Wikipedia description of the history and plot of "The Black Crook":
>
> "The musical is set in 1600 in the Harz Mountains of Germany. It
> incorporates
> elements from Goethe's Faust, Weber's Der Freischütz, and other well-known
> works. Evil, wealthy Count Wolfenstein seeks to marry the lovely village
> girl, Amina.
> With the help of Amina's scheming foster mother Barbara, the Count
> arranges for
> Amina's fiancé, Rodolphe, an impoverished artist, to fall into the hands
> of Hertzog,
> an ancient, crook-backed master of black magic (the Black Crook). Hertzog
> has
> made a pact with the Devil (Zamiel, "The Arch Fiend"): he can live forever
> if he
> provides Zamiel with a fresh soul every New Year's Eve. As innocent
> Rodolphe is led
> to this horrible fate, he discovers a buried treasure and saves the life
> of a dove. The
> dove magically transforms into human form as Stalacta, Fairy Queen of the
> Golden
> Realm. She rewards Rodolphe for rescuing her by bringing him to fairyland
> and
> then reuniting him with his beloved Amina. Her army defeats the Count and
> his evil
> forces, demons drag Hertzog into hell, and Amina and Rodolphe live happily
> ever
> after."
>
> Now being the direct ancestor to the creation of the American Musical
> Theater
> elevates Der Freischutz to a place that no other traditional opera can
> claim, not
> even The Beggar's Opera (another important antecedent).
>
> So that's it.  And please, name me another traditional opera that has any
> real
> impact on the mainstream American culture of today....
>
>
> James Camner
>
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lq1JzXT1akM
>
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