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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: June 2019

6 - Operetta and Intermediality

from Part II - The Reception of Operetta
  • Derek B. Scott, University of Leeds
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • pp 191-220
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Summary

Operetta not only transferred across borders but also from one media platform to another, a characteristic of industrialized production termed ‘intermediality’. A stage show was a multilayered communication medium that connected to other media, such as sheet music, records, film, and radio. The term ‘remediation’ refers to a change from one medium to another, and there were various ways in which the music of operetta might be remediated. For example, it could be turned into sheet music for private pleasure playing the home piano, or, reemerge as a military band medley for the enjoyment of the public spending a leisurely afternoon in the park. Player pianos and piano rolls, which had been produced all around the globe, faced a period of decline in the1930s, as attention turned to radio and records. The arrival of radio effected a change in music dissemination and made the collection of performing rights imperative. Operettas provided the subject matter of a number of classic films of the silent era, and sound film operetta was also in demand in the 1930s, giving rise to the new genre of screen operetta.