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Singing Speech and Speaking Melodies: Minor Forms of Musical Theatre in the 18th and 19th Century

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edited by María Encina Cortizo and Michela Niccolai, Turnhout, Brepols Publishers, 2021 (Speculum Musicae, 43), pp. xiv+562 , ISBN 978-2-503-59543-6.


This volume addresses the complex variety of stage works with sung and spoken sections, such as vaudeville, singspiel, opéra-comiquezarzuela or operetta in different European countries from the eighteenth century to the beginning of the Twenties.

Beyond a multifaceted perspective, twenty-one essays investigate the nature of these musical theatre forms, attending their origins, literary sources, relationships, vocality or cultural transfers, features that in some cases have made them become a mass phenomenon.

The dissemination and adaptation of these genres through different national contexts, confirms the significance of the long-standing relationship between them and the contemporary dramatical and musical repertoire, revealing significant synergies, always conditioned by the market evolution.

María Encina Cortizo is Professor of Musicology at the University of Oviedo (Spain), coordinating the ‘Erasmush’ Research Group. Her main field of research is zarzuela and Spanish opera in the nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries. Apart from diverse books and articles about dramatic music in Spain, she has also published several musicological editions of Spanish Operas and Zarzuelas by Carnicer, Arrieta, Barbieri, Chueca, Barrios and Torrandell, in collaboration with Ramón Sobrino.

Michela Niccolai is chargée de cours at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris and collaboratrice scientifique at Laboratoire de Musicologie (ULB, Bruxelles) and at IHRIM (Université Lyon 2). His research interest is the cabaret-shadow theatre and music-hall in French music production (1880-1930), the opera staging (historical and contemporary), and music and politics in Third Republic France and in Fascist Italy. His recent book Musiques dans l’Italie fasciste, with Charlotte Ginot-Slacik, won Award France Musique Claude Samuel (2020).

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