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Choruses, Ancient and Modern examines the ancient Greek chorus and its afterlives in western culture. Choruses, though absolutely central to the social, political, and religious life of classical Greece, no longer hold the same broad importance in modernity, yet the attraction of the Greek chorus has proved a strong impetus to reimagining. Artists and thinkers have continually appropriated Greek choruses to their own ends, and the body of these engagements constitutes a rich and hitherto-unexplored area of the reception of classical antiquity. Exploring the choral tradition from archaic Greece to the present across a variety of different media, the volume thematically juxtaposes perspectives on choruses to create a dialogue between ancient and modern contexts.
Following a substantial introduction, the four sections of the book discuss the place of the chorus within scholarship, aesthetic and philosophical perspectives on the chorus, reflections on absences of the chorus, and the social and communal potential of the chorus. Each section considers antiquity and modernity in counterpoint, at once de-familiarizing ancient contexts of the chorus and defining crucial moments in modern choral traditions.
Joshua Billings is Assistant Professor of Classics and Humanities at Yale University. His research focuses on tragedy, intellectual history, and the classical tradition.
Felix Budelmann is Lecturer in Greek Language and Literature at the University of Oxford. He works on Greek literature, especially lyric and tragedy.
Fiona Macintosh is Director of the APGRD, Reader in Greek and Roman Drama, University Lecturer in the Reception of Greek and Roman Literature, and a Fellow of St Hilda's College, Oxford. She is author and editor of numerous books on the reception of Greek drama.
Table of Contents
List of Contributors
List of Illustrations
Note on Nomenclature, spelling and texts
Introduction: Choral Fantasies
1. Theorising the Chorus in Greece, Anastasia-Erasmia Peponi
2. The Greek Chorus: Our German Eyes, Simon Goldhill
3. The Middle Voice: German Classical Scholarship and the Greek Tragic Chorus, Constanze Guthenke
4. Chorus, Song, and Anthropology, Ian Rutherford
5. Greek Festival Choruses in and out of Context, Felix Budelmann
6. Seneca's Chorus of One, Helen Slaney
7. Something like the Choruses of the Ancients: the Coro Stabile and the Chorus in European Opera, 1598-1782, Roger Savage
8. An Alien Body? Choral Autonomy around 1800, Joshua Billings
9. Brechtian Chorality, Martin Revermann
10. The Nostalgia of the Male Tragic Chorus, Sheila Murnaghan
11. A Senecan Theatre of Cruelty: Audience, Citizens, and Chorus in Late-Sixteenth and Early-Seventeenth-Century French Dramas, Christian Biet
12. Phantom Chorus: Missing Chorality on the French Eighteenth-Century Stage, Cecile Dudouyt
13. Sunk in the Mystic Abyss: The Choral Orchestra in Wagner's Music Dramas, Laurence Dreyfus
14. How do you solve a problem like the chorus? Hammerstein s Allegro and the Reception of the Greek Chorus on Broadway, Zachary Dunbar
15. The Politics of the Mystic Chorus, Richard Seaford
16. Mob, Cabal, or Utopian Commune? The Political Contestation of the Ancient Chorus 1789-1917, Edith Hall
17. Choruses, Community, and the Corps de Ballet, Fiona Macintosh
18. Chorus and the Vaterland: Greek Tragedy and the Ideology of Choral Performance in Inter-War Germany, Eleftheria Ioannidou
19. Revivals of Choric Theatre as Utopian Visions, Erika Fischer-Lichte
20. Chorus in Contemporary British Theatre, Helen Eastman