The alchemy of musical theatre : Europeanization and the boyars in Moldavia and Wallachia, 1775-1858
Title: The alchemy of musical theatre : Europeanization and the boyars in Moldavia and Wallachia, 1775-1858
Author: CISMAŞ, Sabina
Citation: Florence : European University Institute, 2014
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of History and Civilization
This thesis is about the adoption of musical theatre in the Romanian Principalities Moldavia and Wallachia. The adoption took place in a period when two main currents, very difficult to set apart, appeared: Europeanisation and nation-building. On the one hand, Europeanisation had as an aim the adoption of European culture in the principalities in order to integrate them into Europe and make them equal to the European nations. On the other hand, nation-building intended to encourage the development of a national identity. The adoption of musical theatre was one of the symbols of the integration of the principalities into Europe. The main actors of the adoption of musical theatre were the aristocratic class - the so-called boyars. The first chapter introduces the reader to the social and political context. The second chapter is a pre-history of musical theatre, detailing when the first performances of musical theatre took place. The performances remained irregular until the 1830s. The third chapter talks about Théâtre des Variétés in Yassy and how the prince and the boyars defended French musical theatre - "the symbol of Europe at Théâtre des Variétés - against the attempt of Russia and Austria to take control of the theatre. The forth chapter investigates how the state theatre in Bucharest developed more slowly due to the reduced interest of the prince and boyars until 1852, when The Big Theatre was set up. Contrary to Moldavia, until 1852 the Russian and Austrian interference was accepted in the theatre. The fifth chapter is about the behaviour of the boyars in the theatre, which imitated the behaviour of the European aristocrats and their reflections on musical theatre. The last chapter is about the European companies that arrived and performed in the Romanian Principalities and how they organised musical theatre life in the principalities. It is also about the European repertoire they performed at the two theatres in Yassy and Bucharest, with an emphasis on the boyars' favourite operas and vaudevilles.
LC Subject Heading: Theater -- Moldavia -- History -- 18th century; Theater -- Moldavia -- History -- 19th century; Theater -- Wallachia -- History -- 18th century; Theater -- Wallachia -- History -- 19th century
Defence date: 15 January 2014; Examining Board: Professor Anthony Smith, University of Oxford (EUI Supervisor) Professor Philipp Ther, University of Vienna Professor Alex Drace-Francis, University of Amsterdam Professor Wendy Bracewell, University College London.
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