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Choruses, Ancient and Modern$
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Joshua Billings, Felix Budelmann, and Fiona Macintosh

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199670574

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199670574.001.0001

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Chorus and the Vaterland: Greek Tragedy and the Ideology of Choral Performance in Inter-War Germany

Chorus and the Vaterland: Greek Tragedy and the Ideology of Choral Performance in Inter-War Germany

Chapter:
(p.327) 18 Chorus and the Vaterland: Greek Tragedy and the Ideology of Choral Performance in Inter-War Germany
Source:
Choruses, Ancient and Modern
Author(s):

Eleftheria Ioannidou

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199670574.003.0019

In ‘Chorus and the Vaterland: Greek Tragedy and the Ideology of Choral Performance in Inter-War Germany’, Eleftheria Ioannidou examines the use of the speaking chorus (Sprechchor) in productions of Greek tragedy directed by Wilhelm Leyhausen in Germany during the 1920s and 1930s. While speaking choruses were a key element in various political manifestations as well as official theatrical movements such as Thingspiel at the time, Leyhausen opposed political appropriations of the chorus and emphasized the significance of Sprechchor as a means to retrieve the poetic essence of the dramatic text. Yet, his stagings of Greek tragedy, the chapter argues, are adjacent to fascist ideology. The embodiment of the so-called eternal essence of the text in the powerful choral performance invokes a charismatic community, which nonetheless succumbs to the supremacy of the individual protagonist.

Keywords:   Sprechchor, Thingspiel, Wilhelm Leyhausen, fascism

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