Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Music in the urban Amazon : a historical ethnography of the Manaus opera house
Author: McMahon, Rosie
ISNI:       0000 0004 8508 3393
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2020
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
This thesis presents a historical ethnography of the Teatro Amazonas, an iconic opera house in Brazil’s Amazonian city of Manaus. Often referred to as the ‘opera house in the jungle’, the Teatro is overtly indexed through its broad geographical setting – a setting that has both garnered global attention and stoked fervent contention at a time of anxiety about climate change. Today, conservationist fervour means that many people the world over have become invested in the vast Amazon region not changing over time. This thesis responds to this state of affairs and to recent scholarship that draws critical attention to which parts of the globe have their human histories widely recognised and which do not. It analyses select moments from throughout the Teatro’s lifespan (1897 to the present), exploring the opera house’s changing relationship with its uniquely important geographical setting. The five chapters proceed in chronological order but leave gaps and cover time periods of varying lengths. Chapter One (1850-1896) explores the ‘opera house in the jungle’ epithet by examining the historical context out of which the Teatro came to be built. Chapter Two (1897-1907) nuances the common depiction of the Teatro’s initial decade as a ‘golden age’ of abundance and progress. Chapter Three (1937-1971) crafts a musical history of the mid-twentieth century (supposedly a fallow period at the Teatro), preceded by an ethnography of the opera house’s archive as it stood in 2017. Chapter Four (1997-2017) scrutinises an ongoing cultural project based at the Teatro, arguing that, from the late nineteenth to the late twentieth century, opera in Amazonia changed from an ephemeral status symbol to a productive stimulus for diverse local musics. Chapter Five (2017) explores the entangled urban and rainforest settings that surround (and permeate) the Teatro today, and argues that the opera house has become a potent catalyst for negotiations of Amazonian geographies. Finally, the conclusion reflects on the endeavour of writing a long history of an Amazonian opera house.
Supervisor: Stanyek, Jason Sponsor: St John's College ; Oxford ; Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Music ; Brazilian Studies