Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Trim: 6¼ x 9
978-1-4422-4543-3 • Hardback • April 2015 • $118.00 • (£91.00)
978-1-4422-4544-0 • eBook • April 2015 • $112.00 • (£86.00)
Nicholas Tarling is former professor of history at the University of Auckland, where he taught for nearly thirty years. A specialist in the history of Southeast Asia, he has published extensively on the region’s history and culture. As a music aficionado, he has programmed broadcasts on opera for Radio New Zealand, reviews regularly for Opera magazine, prepares and conducts pre-concert talks, and writes concert program notes. He is the author of Choral Masterpieces: Major and Minor (2014).
Part One: Recitatives
Chapter 1: Globalising and Glocalising Opera
Chapter 2: The Genre
Chapter 3: Orientalisms
Part Two: Arias
Chapter 4: Bible-based operas
Chapter 5: Crusaders, Arabs and Turks
Chapter 6: Egypt
Chapter 7: India and Ceylon
Chapter 8: China.
Chapter 9: Japan
Chapter 10: Russia
About the Author
This study is based largely on Edward Said’s work on Orientalism. The strength of the study is that Tarling approaches his topic primarily as a distinguished scholar of Southeast Asian history, secondarily as an aficionado of Western opera. His deep understanding of Orientalism allows him to express the complexity of globalization and globalization within an already complex art form. The long introduction provides a detailed multidisciplinary summary of the spread of opera within and beyond Europe. . . .[T]he explanation of the evolution of the genre itself is well researched and well documented; though not for the novice, it will be a good refresher for readers who are well versed in opera. Tarling provides no deep musical analysis, instead offering in-depth analysis of operas, grouping them thematically from the origins of the genre to modern contributions, and focusing on the libretti and performance history. The author bases his analysis largely on meticulously researched historical accounts and the scholarly works of others, grouping the operas together in new ways and considering them against what Said posits. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals.
— Choice Reviews
[Tarling's] accounts of . . . librettos and creative backgrounds, as well as relevant performance history, have been thoroughly researched and thought through. As informed as it is informative, the result is a consistently stimulating read, full of artistic and cultural insights—some of them surprising.