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Pneumotypes: Jean de Reszke’s High Pianissimos and the Occult Sciences of Breathing

Published version
Peer-reviewed

Type

Book chapter

Change log

Authors

Davies, James 

Abstract

On the threshold of our modernity, on 29 March 1901, Lionel Mapleson made two artful cylinder phonautogramsof the air. It was no ordinary air. His wax tracings captured for posterity the legendary vocal tones of the fifty-year-old Jean de Reszke and the chorus of the old Metropolitan Opera House in Richard Wagner’s Lohengrin. The atmosphere was thick with anticipation for this final gala performance of the first twentieth-century season, an event that had been offered as an extra night to subscribers, and the last time that Reszke would appear in New York in a complete opera. The newspapers reported a crush as never before in the lobby and outside on the street for ‘the strongest cast which can be brought together’, including Jean’s younger brother Édouard, David Bispham, Adolph Mühlmann, soprano Milka Ternina and Bohemian–German contralto Ernestine Schumann-Heink.

Description

Title

Pneumotypes: Jean de Reszke’s High Pianissimos and the Occult Sciences of Breathing

Keywords

Is Part Of

Nineteenth Century Opera and the Scientific Imagination

Book type

Publisher

Cambridge University Press

ISBN

9781316275863

Rights

All rights reserved
Sponsorship
European Research Council (638241)