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The Arts of the Prima Donna in the Long Nineteenth Century$
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Rachel Cowgill and Hilary Poriss

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780195365870

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195365870.001.0001

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Interlude Breath’s End

Interlude Breath’s End

Opera and Mortality

(p.206) Interlude Breath’s End
The Arts of the Prima Donna in the Long Nineteenth Century

Terry Castle

Oxford University Press

This interlude considers the connections between prima donnas and the ultimate ending: death. Unlike Clément’s meditations on the deaths of operatic characters and earlier focus on the enacting of death on stage, the interlude’s concern is the mortality of the singers themselves. Pondering this theme, it reflects on the ways in which our own ageing, as opera-lovers, changes our relationship to the prima donnas whose voices have moved us over the course of our lives and who are intrinsic to our individual experience of the passage of time.

Keywords:   death, ending, Clément, mortality, ageing, time

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