Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Grand Illusion – Phantasmagoria in Nineteenth-Century Opera - Oxford Scholarship Online
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Grand Illusion: Phantasmagoria in Nineteenth-Century Opera

Gabriela Cruz


Grand Illusion is a new history of grand opera as an art of illusion facilitated by the introduction of gaslight illumination at the Académie Royale de Musique (Paris) in the 1820s. It contends that gas lighting and the technologies of illusion used in the theater after the 1820s spurred the development of a new lyrical art, attentive to the conditions of darkness and radiance, and inspired by the model of phantasmagoria. Karl Marx, Walter Benjamin, and Theodor Adorno have used the concept of phantasmagoria to arrive at a philosophical understanding of modern life as total spectacle, in which ... More

Keywords: grand opera, phantasmagoria, commodity, audio-visual spectacle, dream-image, gaslight illumination, Giacomo Meyerbeer, Richard Wagner, Giuseppe Verdi

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780190915056
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2020 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190915056.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Gabriela Cruz, author
Assistant Professor, Historical Musicology, University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance