Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Blackness in Opera$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Naomi Andre, Karen M. Bryan, and Eric Saylor

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036781

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036781.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 13 August 2020

Nationalism, Racial Difference, and “Egyptian” Meaning in Verdi’s Aida

Nationalism, Racial Difference, and “Egyptian” Meaning in Verdi’s Aida

Chapter:
(p.55) 3 Nationalism, Racial Difference, and “Egyptian” Meaning in Verdi’s Aida
Source:
Blackness in Opera
Author(s):

Christopher R. Gauthier

Jennifer Mcfarlane-Harris

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252036781.003.0004

This chapter examines the dynamics of race and race relations in Giuseppe Verdi's Aida in the context of nationalism in nineteenth-century Egypt. The world premiere of Aida took place at the Cairo Opera House on December 24, 1871. However, there seems to be little information available on the opera's Cairo production, particularly with regards to Egyptian reaction to this first performance. Focusing on its Cairo premiere, this chapter analyzes Aida's libretto and music in order to elucidate the workings of racial difference as it lies on the surface of the opera. It suggests that, for Egyptians, Aida may have spoken to a sense of emergent Egyptian identity. It also reveals Aida's racial dynamics by linking it to discourses of light-skinned Egyptian superiority and dark-skinned African inferiority. Furthermore, the relationships between characters in the opera highlight the specificities of Egypt's relations with its racial-national Others, implying a larger project of Egyptian identity formation through “racial fabrication.”

Keywords:   race, race relations, Giuseppe Verdi, Aida, nationalism, Egypt, racial difference, Egyptian identity, African inferiority, racial fabrication

Illinois Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.