“Western Influence on Asia; Opera and Society and a Dilemma” Please respond to one (1) of the following, using sources under the Explore heading as the basis of your response:
Describe (1) example of how either black slaves or white abolitionists used literature or the visual arts as a form of protest against slavery; and compare this to a modern example of art used for social protest. This may seem redundant from last week, but building upon additional readings, key here is how you relate modern issues to the foundation of, impact of slavery protest and add new ideas from what we have discussed to-date!
Building on the key motives involved in the increased presence of Westerners in India, China, and Japan in the 1700s and 1800s – British policies influences, how can you relate them to contemporary trade issues between the US and/or India, China and Japan? What lessons have we learned in our current policies, or not?
Read, listen to, and watch the sources for the opera composers at the Websites below and in this week’s Music Folder. Pick one composer, identify and discuss the major influences they exerted upon opera in terms of making it more innovative, realistic, and even controversial. Next, consider Wagner and this dilemma: Wagner’s brilliance is clear because his works remain some of the most popular and admired productions in our own time. Yet, he was a blatantly antisemitic and held notions of racial purity, traits that have stained his artistic legacy. (This was compounded by the later celebration of Wagner’s music by Hitler and the Nazis). New York Times writer Anthony Tommasini wrote of Wagner in 2005: “How did such sublime music come from such a warped man? Maybe art really does have the power to ferret out the best in us.” So relating to Wagner, consider the issue of whether we should or can separate the artist from the art, whether we can appreciate the art but reject the artist. Or whether we should reject both the person and his or her art. Identify one (1) modern musician or artist where this dilemma arises.
This question asks you to reverse our focus – start with the modern adaptation to search and explore, then look back to address cultural impact(s). How can you relate a modern opera to our CH readings this week? Choose (1) below to explore the modern application and how it ties to our weekly learning: Modern operas include:
Amahl and the Night Visitors, Gian-Carlo Menotti, about the visit of the Three Kings to a humble peasant.
Candide, Leonard Bernstein’s comic opera based on Voltaire’s famous satire.
Sweeney Todd, Stephen Sondheim’s operatic take on a creaky nineteenth-century horror play.
The Ghosts of Versailles, John Corigliano’s opera about the ravages of the French Revolution.
American Dilemma–Slavery – The Art & Literature of Protest
Chapter 29 (pp. 962-976); slavery, literature, and art
Haven’s article on Goodman’s scholarship on art protesting slavery before the Civil War at http://news.stanford.edu/news/2009/february18/artists-slavery-protests-021809.html
Art and Slavery article at http://www.realhistories.org.uk/articles/archive/the-art-of-slavery.html
Intrusions in Asia
The Opium Wars and Foreign Encroachment: http://afe.easia.columbia.edu/special/china_1750_opium.htm
Opium Wars with visuals at http://ocw.mit.edu/ans7870/21f/21f.027/opium_wars_01/ow1_essay01.html
Key documents from China at http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1793qianlong.asp and http://acc6.its.brooklyn.cuny.edu/~phalsall/texts/com-lin.html
Opera and Society
Chapter 30 (pp. 999-1004), Wagner and Verdi; (pp. 1133-1134), Puccini; review the Week 5 “Music Folder”
Huizenga article and audio selections at http://www.npr.org/blogs/deceptivecadence/2012/04/11/150420827/talk-like-an-opera-geek-how-verdi-wagner-and-puccini-got-their-grooves
Wagner video of a stage production (Tristan und Isolde) at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAEkTK6aKUM
Verdi video clip of stage production (Rigoletto) at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5NEOh-XhyA
Puccini video clip of stage production (Tosca) at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sSoKbv46zc