Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Opera in the Jazz AgeCultural Politics in 1920s Britain$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Alexandra Wilson

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190912666

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190912666.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 October 2020



(p.154) Chapter 6 Stars
Opera in the Jazz Age

Alexandra Wilson

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines why the star singer was considered by highbrow critics to be so problematic. It examines the cult of personality within the 1920s context and the ways in which this was fuelled by modern advertising methods, and considers the relationship between opera stars and new types of stars from the worlds of film, sport, and variety. The chapter considers how singers promoted themselves through autobiography, press interviews, recordings, and merchandising deals, and how they negotiated the world of modern celebrity in ways that placed them in the middlebrow camp. It examines how singers were presented by the press as simultaneously familiar and exotic. Detailed attention is paid to the ‘celebrity concerts’ of the era, whose pick-and-mix programmes were considered so problematic by highbrow commentators, and to the perceived tension between artistic integrity and commerce. Highbrow attitudes towards the audiences who enjoyed listening to celebrity singers are also scrutinised.

Keywords:   opera, Britain, 1920s, highbrow, middlebrow, celebrity, stardom, singer, concert, commodification

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .