Unsettling Opera: Staging Mozart, Verdi, Wagner, and Zemlinsky

Front Cover
University of Chicago Press, Nov 15, 2008 - Music - 274 pages
0 Reviews

What happens when operas that are comfortably ensconced in the canon are thoroughly rethought and radically recast on stage? What does a staging do to our understanding of an opera, and of opera generally? While a stage production can disrupt a work that was thought to be established, David J. Levin here argues that the genre of opera is itself unsettled, and that the performance of operas, at its best, clarifies this condition by bringing opera’s restlessness and volatility to life.

Unsettling Opera explores a variety of fields, considering questions of operatic textuality, dramaturgical practice, and performance theory. Levin opens with a brief history of opera production, opera studies, and dramatic composition, and goes on to consider in detail various productions of the works of Wagner, Mozart, Verdi, and Alexander Zemlinsky. Ultimately, the book seeks to initiate a dialogue between scholars of music, literature, and performance by addressing questions raised in each field in a manner that influences them all.


What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


1 Dramaturgy and MiseenScène
Wagners Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg in Performance
Mozart and Da Pontes Le nozze di Figaro
Mozarts Die Entführung aus dem Serail
Verdis Don Carlos
Zemlinskys Der König Kandaules
Plot Summaries

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

David J. Levin is associate professor in the Department of Germanic Studies, the Committee on Cinema and Media Studies, and the Committee on Theater and Performance Studies at the University of Chicago.  In addition to his academic work, he has served as dramaturg for various opera companies in the United States and Germany.

Bibliographic information