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Subject: The most influential opera to impact our own time is (long)
From: Hans Christian Hoff <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Hans Christian Hoff <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 28 Jan 2018 02:36:18 +0100
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This is a most ambigious thread !

One must ask:

1) what is our time ? if it the lifespan of the listers is a criterium 
to go by our time starts around 1935 a.d.

2) On what should the opera have impact ? On the history of music?,on 
the politics of the day ? or is it a question of impact on the everyday 
life of contemporary people ?

3) Is it only the impact of the musical work per se that is in question, 
or should one take into consideration also other, more political aspects.

To 1) Operas from earlier times can obiously have impact on our own 
time. The work of Wagner springs to mind; the impact being both musical 
and political. Also Brittens Peter Grimes may have had some inpact. 
Apart from this it is difficult to see what more contemporary works 
could have had any influence outside the world of music.

To 2 ) My personal view is that each one and every opera has some kind 
of impact on musical history. But that is an oxymoron, and hardly worth 
further discussion. The impact opera in general has on the everyday life 
of the common people is most certainly negligible, except for the joy to 
be found in the music of the works. And sadly, I find that to be 
attributable only to older works (Puccini being the last composer to 
produce music of that kind) as I am not capable of finding any joy in 
the music of present day opera composers.

To 3) Verdi became a national hero during the risorgimento, primarily as 
a result of Nabucco, and in particular the Slave Chorus. He was elected 
to the National Assembly, but was an indifferent delegate. Wagner's 
politics is far less discernible in his musical works than in his 
literary ramblings; it is difficult to find traces of his revolutionary 
period in Sachsen in the works from that period. His attitude to the 
Bavarian kingdom was sycophantic. It is obvious that the Nazis used his 
works for propaganda issues; it has however been argued (Spotts et.al.) 
that this made little impression, and also was the object of some ridicule.

Regards

Hans (in the mood of the museum curator)

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