The introduction sets the problem of operatic representation in the context of the Triplex Confinium, the adjacency of the Ottoman, Venetian, and Habsburg states in the eighteenth century, creating circumstances of war and hostility, but also coexistence and familiarity. Venice and Vienna were significant both as capitals of the Triplex Confinium and as operatic centers for works on Turkish themes. Some familiarity and fascination with elements of Turkish musical style—Janissary or alla turca style—was one aspect of this geopolitical situation, and the introduction makes the case for thinking about musical issues in the context of international relations and the dynamics of war and peace. Finally, the introduction considers how the singing Turk on the operatic stage addressed issues of European identity in the age of Enlightenment, in matters of political theory, emotional discipline, and the presumption of civilization.
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