CCLE, class readings

Pick the following questions.
For EACH of these 2 questions, provide an answer of at least 500 words.
Do not exceed 700 words.
Indicate your choices by typing the number at the beginning of each essay.
You may use your class notes, the slides on the CCLE, class readings, etc. If you choose to directly quote from any of the readings, please use proper citation methods (i.e. use quotation marks and provide either a footnote or an in-paragraph citation for your source).
Questions (choose two out of the following four):
1) One of the things we’ve learned this quarter is that twentieth-century opera began “in the shadow of Wagner.” Indeed, though Wagner died in 1883, the powerful influence of his nineteenth-century operatic style endured well into the twentieth-century. Briefly, (using specific examples) explain what was so influential about Wagner’s operatic innovations. Next, choose two examples from the operas we’ve discussed so far in class. For each opera, analyze how the composer/librettist created a work influenced by and/or in reaction to Wagnerian opera. Make sure to use detailed examples and discuss the musical style as well as the plot, staging, or other important elements.
(opera:
Debussy, Mes longs cheveux; from PelléasetMélisande
Puccini, Vissid’arte from Tosca
+ see attached file “wagner”)
2) We’ve talked briefly in class about scholars who have claimed that opera is about the “undoing of women,” or the desire to see the soprano die at the end of the opera. While such claims are too broad to really help us much, there’s no question that twentieth-century operas give us powerful (and at times ambiguous) messages about gender—the societal roles of men and women. In your essay, choose two operas from our class assignments and discuss how they present gender roles. Make sure to acknowledge that there are different ways of interpreting these presentations: for each opera you pick, you should acknowledge “the other side” of the argument as well. Use detailed examples and discuss the musical style as well as the plot, staging, or other important elements.

(opera:
Shostakovich and Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District (1934)
Richard Strauss and Elektra (1909)
+ see attached file elektra& lady macbeth)

3) The scholar Tia DeNora has claimed that “music is much more than a decorative art…it is a powerful medium of social order.” Music can control and oppress, she states, as well as articulate emotions that empower. Opera is a particularly rich stage for representing encounters of race and class. Choose two operas from our class assignments and discuss how race and/or class are represented in that music. While discussing how your different examples were shaped by class and/or race, be sure to discuss the musical style in detail as well. Make sure to acknowledge some of the problematic consequences of these

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