Focusing on the operas of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Christoph Willibald Gluck, and Jean-Phillipe Rameau, this book examines the essential role that eighteenth-century works played in the opera houses of Paris around the turn of the twentieth century. These works, most of which had been neglected during the nineteenth century, became the central exhibits in what William Gibbons calls the Operatic Museum-a simultaneously physical and conceptual space in which great masterworks from the past and present could, like works of visual art in the Louvre, entertain audiences while educating them in their own history and national identity. Drawing on the fields of musicology, museum studies, art history, and literature, 'Building the Operatic Museum' explores how this seemingly simple idea represented a fundamental shift in how French audiences, critics, and composers understood the nature and function of music history, as well as their own place in it. William Gibbons is assistant professor of musicology at Texas Christian iversity.
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