9780226043425

The Opera Fanatic: Ethnography of an Obsession

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780226043425

  • ISBN10:

    0226043428

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-07-15
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
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Summary

Though some dismiss opera as old-fashioned, it shows no sign of disappearing from the world's stage. So why do audiences continue to flock to it? Given its association with wealth, one might imagine that opera tickets function as a status symbol. But while a desire to hobnob with the upper crust might motivate the occasional operagoer, for hardcore fans the real answer, according toThe Opera Fanatic, is passionthey do it for love. Opera lovers are an intense lot, Claudio E. Benzecry discovers in his look at the fanatics who haunt the legendary Colon Opera House in Buenos Aires, a key site for opera's globalization. Listening to the fans and their stories, Benzecry hears of two-hundred-mile trips for performances and nightlong camp-outs for tickets, while others testify to a particular opera's power to move themwhether to song or to tearsno matter how many times they have seen it before. Drawing on his insightful analysis of these acts of love, Benzecry proposes new ways of thinking about people's relationship to art and shows how, far from merely enhancing aspects of everyday life, art allows us to transcend it.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsp. ix
Prefacep. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xvii
Introductionp. 1
Background
An Opera House for the "Paris of South America"p. 17
"It was love at first sight": Biography and Social Trajectory of Standing-Room Dwellersp. 39
Foreground
Becoming an Opera Fan: Cultural Membership, Mediation, and Differentiationp. 63
Moral Listening: Symbolic Boundaries, Work on the Self, and Passionate Engagementp. 83
Heroes, Pilgrims, Addicts, and Nostalgics: Repertories of Engagement in the Quest for Transcendencep. 111
Finale
"They were playing in their shirtsleeves!": Downfall, Memory Work, and High-Culture Nationalismp. 147
"We've told you all about our life": Conclusions and Implicationsp. 178
Notesp. 195
Referencesp. 219
Indexp. 239
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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