The Nurse in History and Opera: From Servant to Sister

The Nurse in History and Opera: From Servant to Sister

by Judith Barger
The Nurse in History and Opera: From Servant to Sister

The Nurse in History and Opera: From Servant to Sister

by Judith Barger

Hardcover

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Overview

From Scarabea, Artusa’s old nurse in Francesco Mannelli’s La Maga Fuminata (1638 Venice) through the Canadian nursing sisters in Stephanie Martin’s Llandovery Castle (2018 Toronto), over one hundred nurse characters appear in opera roles ranging from silent cast extra to principal singer. The Nurse in History and Opera: From Servant to Sister explores that role over the span of opera’s existence.

Judith Barger examines the nurse character in opera within the sociohistorical context of her real-life counterparts off stage; the progression of the nurse from servant to sister, both inside and outside the opera house, is a commentary on how society has viewed its women. The book then discusses textual and musical interactions between opera’s nurses and other characters with attention to what the nurse’s role contributes to opera in six categories identified as common to opera’s nurses – Comic, Former, Knowledgeable, Motherly, Scheming, and Specialized.

When viewed through the lens of social history, opera’s nurse characters merit attention for the glimpse that they offer of a unique musical and dramatic journey from servant to sister, and for the commentary that they offer on women’s perceived place and status not only on the opera stage, but in society as well.

View the author’s website here: Judith Barger | Author, Nurse Historian & Music Scholar


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781666957341
Publisher: Lexington Books
Publication date: 05/15/2024
Pages: 258
Product dimensions: 6.43(w) x 9.34(h) x 0.99(d)

About the Author

Judith Barger is independent scholar who holds a PhD in musicology from Indiana University and a PhD in nursing from The University of Texas at Austin.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Nurses off Stage: From Sacred to Secular

Chapter 3: Nurses off Stage: From Civilian to Military

Chapter 4: Nurses on and off Stage: Image Making and Breaking

Chapter 5: Comic Nurses

Chapter 6: Former Nurses

Chapter 7: Knowledgeable Nurses

Chapter 8: Motherly Nurses

Chapter 9: Scheming Nurses

Chapter 10: Specialized Nurses

Chapter 11: Conclusion

Appendix

Bibliography

Index

About the Author

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