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The New Music TheaterSeeing the Voice, Hearing the Body$
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Eric Salzman and Thomas Desi

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195099362

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195099362.001.0001

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Introduction: What Is Music Theater?

Introduction: What Is Music Theater?

(p.3) Introduction: What Is Music Theater?
The New Music Theater

Eric Salzman

Thomas Desi

Oxford University Press

What is music theater? This is a fairly recent coinage in English, which can function as an “inclusive” term for all forms of theater based in music or music-and-dance (in which case opera is only a specialized historical form of music theater) and sometimes (as we use it here) as an “exclusive” term to refer to recent developments outside of traditional opera, operetta, and musicals. The crisis of opera is, at least in part, a reflection of the fact that opera is no longer at the apex of the arts, a role that has been taken over by new media. The “return” of music theater and its involvement with new media and new technologies is both the revival of something old, but also something new and ongoing.

Keywords:   music theater, opera, operetta, musicals, new media, new technologies

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