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Memoria e Ricerca

pera and Nation in an international perspective: the cases of Greece and Brazil during XIXth century

di Dimitrios Kiousopoulos
in Memoria e Ricerca n.s. 29 (2008), p. 47

The present paper discusses the genesis and reception of the operas Marco Botzaris (Patras, 1861) by Paolo Carrer (or Pavlos Karreris) (Zante 1829-1896) and Il Guarany (Milan, 1870) by Antonio Carlos Gomes. Carrer is remembered for his efforts to create Greek national opera as a genre, efforts that met with varying response from the public and the critique and with indifference from the official state, while Gomes was recognized during his lifetime as the foremost Brazilian composer. Our argument is to demonstrate by juxtaposing the two cases of “national” composers that next to local political and social reasons that conditioned the reception of the opera, success of an opera and of a composer on an international level was often the principal factor that decided their canonization as “national” back home. In that sense, integration of a work into the international opera repertory was more important than its inherent national characteristics.