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Theatre Under Louis XIV: Cross-Casting and the Performance of Gender in Drama, Ballet and Opera
     

Theatre Under Louis XIV: Cross-Casting and the Performance of Gender in Drama, Ballet and Opera

by J. Prest
 

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This book explores the fascinating phenomenon of cross-casting and related gender issues in different theatrical genres and different performance contexts during the heyday of French theatre.

Overview

This book explores the fascinating phenomenon of cross-casting and related gender issues in different theatrical genres and different performance contexts during the heyday of French theatre.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Prest's Theatre under Louis XIV masterfully studies drama, opera, and

ballet under the Sun King. Gender ambiguity on the stage is now in danger of

becoming a hackneyed and ideological cavalcade, but Prest rigorously makes it new. Likeaudiences, Prest knows that men and women are biologically different, and her shrewd awareness animates her study. She illuminates Molière, the glory

of his age, with authentic insight and deep learning." -Harold Bloom, YaleUniversity

"This is a thoroughly researched, carefully reasoned, and engagingly written study of an important topic. Within the familiar context of the spoken comic drama, ideas are introduced that carry forward into the progressively less familiar material: first the single-sex school performances, of which we can recapture the dynamics without too great a stretch of the imagination; then the court ballet, which is truly a form alien to the modern reader. The last chapter deals with opera, which in one way is an excursion into even stranger territory, since most of the discussion is set against the background of the castrato - certainly the most extreme form of altering the male performer to project a female character. The study is a timely one and it makes an important contribution to the field." - Roger W. Herzel, Indiana University

'In this innovative and engagingly written study, Prest covers ballet and opera as well as spoken plays. Her range encompasses the history, principles and practices of religious school performances and court performances as well as those of the commercial theatre. She is a sure guide, and her analysis of comedy, eroticism, sexual ambiguities, and the courtly ideal is outstanding. Prest's impressive knowledge of the original texts, contemporary polemic, and a wide range of modern critical thinking enables her to present insights and discoveries that will change the way we see seventeenth-century performance practice.' - William Brooks, University of Bath

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781403975188
Publisher:
Palgrave Macmillan US
Publication date:
11/03/2006
Edition description:
2006
Pages:
195
Product dimensions:
5.51(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.02(d)

Meet the Author

Julia Prest is Senior Lecturer in the Department of French at the University of St Andrews, UK.

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