This article examines an example of what might be called ‘nested’ reception – the representation of one work of art within another – in the shape of Gounod’s "Faust", performances of which were depicted in media ranging from late nineteenth- and early twentieth- century novels to the long-running comic strip "Les Aventures de Tintin". In particular, it considers the reception issues raised by the last of these, in which the opera’s persistence in the surrounding culture is represented by repeated (and often unexpected) performances of the ‘Jewel Song’ by the diva La Castafiore. Part repository of opera cliche and part creative commentary on "Faust"'s place in a shrinking and stagnating repertory, the passages featuring Castafiore may also pose questions for musicologists: not just about the materials we use to recuperate and represent historical echoes, in the broadest sense, of opera, but also about the historical and critical models we use to interpret them.
|Journal||Cambridge Opera Journal|
|Publication status||Published - 4 Jun 2013|