The La Traviata Affair: Opera in the Age of Apartheid

Front Cover
Univ of California Press, Aug 24, 2018 - Music - 288 pages
"Race, politics, and opera production during apartheid South Africa intersect in this historiographic work on the Eoan Group, a "coloured" cultural organization that performed opera in the Cape. The La Traviata Affair charts Eoan's opera activities from the group's inception in 1933 until the cessation of their productions by 1980. It explores larger questions of complicity, compromise, and compliance; of assimilation, appropriation, and race; and of "European art music" in situations of "non-European" dispossession and disenfranchisement. Performing under the auspices of apartheid, the group's unquestioned acceptance of and commitment to the art of opera could not redeem it from the entanglements that came with the political compromises it made. Uncovering a rich trove of primary source materials, Hilde Roos presents here for the first time the story of one of the premier cultural agencies of apartheid South Africa"--Provided by publisher.

What people are saying - Write a review

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


A Demimonde before Art
From Courtesan to Lover
May Abrahamse as Violetta
The Struggle to Breathe
On Twilight and Loss
Eoans Music Productions
The Eoan Group Constitution
Selected Bibliography

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2018)

Hilde Roos is the General Manager of Africa Open Institute for Music, Research, and Innovation at Stellenbosch University. Her research interests concern the archive, historical representations of the practice of Western art music and the concomitant (colonial) mutations thereof in South Africa.

Bibliographic information