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The Singing Turk
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The Singing Turk: Ottoman Power and Operatic Emotions on the European Stage from the Siege of Vienna to the Age of Napoleon

Larry Wolff


This book explores the important cultural phenomenon of operas about the Ottoman Turks in eighteenth-century Europe—from the 1680s to the 1820s—and considers what the figure of the singing Turk signified to European publics in the context of European-Ottoman relations, the European Enlightenment, and Europe’s cultural perspective on the Orient. The research addresses the enormous extent of this largely forgotten repertory, beginning with the many tragic operas about the captivity of Bajazet (as in Handel’s Tamerlano), and then addressing the many comic operas that followed the precedent of Ram ... More

Keywords: absolutism, emotions, Enlightenment, Janissary style (alla turca), Mozart, Napoleon, opera, Orientalism, Ottoman empire, Siege of Vienna (1683)

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780804795777
Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: January 2017 DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804795777.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Larry Wolff, author
New York University