9/21/15 ASHLAND, Ohio – Dr. Christina Fuhrmann, professor of music at Ashland University, has published the book "Foreign Opera at the London Playhouses, from Mozart to Bellini," with Cambridge University Press.
The book, which is part of a series from Cambridge University Press titled “Cambridge Studies in Opera,” will be available in November.
In the early 19th century more than 40 operas by foreign composers including Mozart, Rossini, Weber, and Bellini, were adapted for London playhouses, often appearing in drastically altered form. Such changes have been denigrated as “mutilations,” according to Fuhrmann.
“The operas were translated into English, fitted with spoken dialogue, divested of much of their music, augmented with interpolations and frequently set to altered libretti,” Fuhrmann said. “By the end of the period, the radical changes of earlier adaptations gave way to more faithful versions.”
In this first comprehensive study of these adaptations, Fuhrmann shows how integral they are to our understanding of early 19th-century opera and the transformation of London’s theatrical and musical life.
“This book reveals how these operas accelerated repertoire shifts in the London theatrical world, fostered significant changes in musical taste, revealed the ambiguities and inadequacies of copyright law and sparked intense debate about fidelity to the original work,” she said.
Ashland University, ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2016, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.