The Politics of Opera: A History from Monteverdi to Mozart

A wide-ranging look at the interplay of opera and political ideas through the centuries


Published (US):
Dec 8, 2020
Published (UK):
Dec 21, 2020
6.13 x 9.25 in.
20 halftones
Buy This

The Politics of Opera takes readers on a fascinating journey into the entwined development of opera and politics, from the Renaissance through the turn of the nineteenth century. What political backdrops have shaped opera? How has opera conveyed the political ideas of its times? Delving into European history and thought and music by such greats as Monteverdi, Lully, Rameau, and Mozart, Mitchell Cohen reveals how politics—through story lines, symbols, harmonies, and musical motifs—has played an operatic role both robust and sotto voce. This is an engrossing book that will interest all who love opera and are intrigued by politics.

Awards and Recognition

  • Shortlisted for the Laura Shannon Prize in Contemporary European Studies, Nanovic Institute, University of Notre Dame
  • Winner of the 2018 PROSE Award in Music & the Performing Arts, Association of American Publishers
  • Winner of the 2018 Presidential Excellence Award for Distinguished Scholarship, Baruch College, City University of New York
  • One of the Evening Standard Best Books of 2017 (chosen by Anne McElvoy)