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Composing the Jew’s Soundscape in Operatic Versions of The Merchant of Venice

Judah Cohen    Indiana University, USA    

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abstract

Opera composers adapting The Merchant of Venice have given Shylock a distinctive sound using musical techniques that mark him as a classic outsider. Drawing on the scores of ten of these operas this essay highlights five compositional strategies for characterizing Shylock. Separately, these strategies highlight subtle shifts in the portrayal of Jews across different eras and localities. Together, they point to a deeper portrayal of Jews as figures who live on the margins of European tonality. Shylock in these operas projects an ambiguous social status and lack of alignment with the more consonant world of the other characters.

Pubblicato
10 Giugno 2021
Lingua
EN
ISBN (PRINT)
978-88-6969-504-9
ISBN (EBOOK)
978-88-6969-503-2

Keywords: Otto TaubmannMario Castelnuovo-TedescoChromaticismShylockFoersterAdrian BeechamJosef BThe Merchant of VeniceCiro PinsutiOperaAldo FinziMusicJewsReynaldo Hahn

Copyright: © 2021 Judah Cohen. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.