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The Politics of Opera: From Montiverdi to Mozart

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In his new book The Politics of Opera, Mitchell Cohen 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 an array of music by such greats as 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.

Join Cohen and respondents Katha Pollitt and Eric Salzman for a conversation about the intersections of music, the state, and politics.

Mitchell Cohen is professor of political science at Baruch College and the CUNY Graduate Center and editor emeritus of Dissent.

Katha Pollitt is a columnist for The Nation

Eric Salzman is composer-in-residence at Center for Contemporary Opera, New York