WELCOME to my place!

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Enter!
Discover the vibrant musical theatre of the French Caribbean!

 

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THE TIME

  • 1764-1789, covering two and one-half decades prior to the onset of the French Revolution.
  • 1764 – marks the establishment of the first printing press in the colonies, the beginning of official documentation of operas and plays performed there, and the inauguration of the first theatre in the colonies.
  • 1789 – Beginning of the French Revolution; era also coincides with the twilight years of the siècle des lumières, the Enlightenment, a movement in which the concepts of liberty and justice rendered the institution of slavery intellectually indefensible

 

THE PLACE

  •  French colonial empire in the Antilles, with a focus on the islands of Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Saint-Domingue (now Haiti).

 

THE ACTION

  • Emergence of extremely talented musicians, singers, and dancers of Sub-Saharan African descent performing in lavishly produced French operas
  • Transporting a form of classical music–opera–to slave colonies –indeed, an elaborate French innovation
  • Exploring the strong bonds between music, society, and the French concept of the Sub-Saharan African Other
  • Examining the relationship between the ruling class, those being ruled, and theatre production
  • The influence of French colonial opera on operas produced in the United States

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The above events and attitudes were reflected in several operas produced in France and transported later to the colonies where we see the beginning of an extraordinary trend:  the dramatization of the presumed notion of superiority of French culture over that of Sub-Saharan Africans and their descendants.

(For a few details of this unique study, please click on “THE BOOK” in the sidebar menu)

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One thought on “WELCOME to my place!

  1. JCP says:

    hi David,

    Just got your book at the AMS and can’t wait to read it. Bravo!

    Jann Pasler

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