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The Singing TurkOttoman Power and Operatic Emotions on the European Stage from the Siege of Vienna to the Age of Napoleon$
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Larry Wolff

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780804795777

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804795777.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
The Singing Turk

Larry Wolff

Stanford University Press

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.

Keywords:   Enlightenment, Habsburg monarchy, Janissary style (alla turca), Mozart, opera, Ottoman empire, Triplex Confinium, Venetian Republic

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