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Shakespeare in 19th-Century Opera

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Alina Borkowska-Rychlewska

The author of the book analyses selected 19th-century operas based on Shakespeare’s plays from the perspective of their relations to the literature, aesthetics and philosophy of the Romantic period. The texts discussed here include Verdi’s Macbeth, Otello and Falstaff, Rossini’s Otello, Halévy’s The Tempest, Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet and Thomas’s Hamlet. The study aims to indicate diverse traces of the Romantic interpretation of Shakespeare’s works in the history of the 19th-century opera. Individual chapters present the librettos of the selected operas, analysed in the context of Shakespeare’s plays and their 19th-century reception, reconstructed on the basis of 19th-century historic-literary texts (of, among others, A. W. Schlegel, L. Tieck and V. Hugo), critical studies and press articles. The analyses conducted in the book succeed in presenting the evolution of the phenomenon of Romantic Shakespeareanism in the 19th-century opera theatre.

Romantic Shakespeareanism in the 19th-century European opera – History of the 19th-century Polish theatre