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10 - Theater, the Civilizing Mission, and Global Entertainment

from Part III - The City’s New Pleasures

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 October 2020

Malte Fuhrmann
Affiliation:
Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO)
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Summary

The nineteenth century infatuation with opera by residents of Izmir, Istanbul, and Thessaloniki is grounded mainly in their attempt to take part in a global "civilizing mission." The middle classes and the administration intended but often failed to educate the lower classes to properly behavior during theater performances, refraining from smoking, eating, unpleasant bodily movements or ill-timed displays of veneration. Nonetheless, all these and also violence were not uncommon at the opera house. Moreover, opera aficionados wishes for a "one world" of global stage entertainment, for a cultural exchange with Western and Central Europe. Unfortunately, Western interest in Eastern music and narratives came to an end in the 1820s, whereas Eastern interest in Western performances gained momentum later.

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Chapter
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Port Cities of the Eastern Mediterranean
Urban Culture in the Late Ottoman Empire
, pp. 138 - 156
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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