Jenny Lind, Voice, Celebrity


Type
Article
Change log
Authors
Vella, F 
Abstract

Voice has a long history in modern Western culture as a transparent signifier of subjectivity and presence. This ideology of immediacy has meant that exploration of singing voices as mediated has mostly been confined to classic technological turns marked by specific sound devices. This article examines voice in connection with the mid-nineteenth-century soprano Jenny Lind and the broader London context of contemporary Lind mania. Mediation lends itself to canvassing questions at the crossroads of voice and celebrity studies, for the invocation of a linear, unmediated communication between particular individuals and their audiences lies at the heart of modern celebrity culture's apparatus. The tension between voice and techne, presence and absence, evinced by printed and visual materials suggests mediation was key to the perceptual and ideological system surrounding Lind's voice. Attending to voice within a more porous, relational framework can help us move away from a concern with individuality and authenticity, and listen to a rich tapestry of human and material encounters.

Description
Keywords
English literature, theater, 1800-1899, singing, fame, Lind, Jenny(1820-1887), technology
Journal Title
Music and Letters
Conference Name
Journal ISSN
0027-4224
1477-4631
Volume Title
98
Publisher
Oxford University Press