Almost as Good as Presley: Caruso the Pop Idol

When he died in 1921 the singer Enrico Caruso left behind him approximately 290 commercially released recordings, and a significant mark upon on the opera world including more than 800 appearances at the New York Met. This explores Caruso’s popular appeal and how he straddled the divide between ‘pop’ and ‘classical’. This article, Almost as[…]

‘So Very Japanny’: The British Reception of ‘The Mikado’ in 1885

Examining the writings of The Mikado producers and opera reviewers in 1885, showing that the British were eager to create a quaint, picturesque, “authentic” image of Japan. In 1885 librettist William Schwenck Gilbert visited the Japanese Village, a London spectacle featuring Japanese natives performing their way of life.[1] Gilbert drew inspiration from his visit for the production[…]

Witch-Hunts, Theocracies, and Hypocrisy: McCarthyism in ‘The Crucible’ and ‘Susannah’

For the source of his story, Arthur Miller looked back to the Salem witch trials of 1692. In the early 1950s, at the height of the Cold War, the United States was in the throes of the paranoid, hysterical, communist witch-hunt we have come to call McCarthyism, named for the particularly zealous senator, Joseph McCarthy,[…]