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Katherine Preston
College of William and Mary (Williamsburg, VA 23186-0002)
Women Managers of English-Language Opera Companies in Late 19th-Century America

The focus of this book is a widespread and popular English-opera movement in late-century America that is completely unknown to scholars today. From 1860 through 1900 scores of itinerant companies, many managed by women, crisscrossed the United States, mounting vernacular opera as popular theatre to large, enthusiastic, and socially heterogeneous audiences. Based on hitherto-unexamined primary documents and informed by theatre history, feminist studies, American Studies, musicology, and history, this book challenges the role of musical theatre in an emerging cultural hierarchy and provides insight into the work of female entrepreneurs who refused to be constrained by the dominant social order. The book will expand knowledge of American social and cultural history, including the emergence of musical management, use of marketing techniques, the role of English-language opera as a populist response to the elitism of foreign-language opera, and the work of businesswomen in entertainment.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
American Studies; Music History and Criticism; Women's History

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2014 – 12/31/2014