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GOLNY Report Summary

Project ID: 339555
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: United Kingdom

Mid-Term Report Summary - GOLNY (German Operetta in London and New York, 1907–1939: Cultural Transfer and Transformation)

The project began by developing an understanding of the historical specificity of operetta production and consumption 1907–38. In particular, the research was focused on the roles of composers, book and lyric writers, and adapters. Alongside this research was an effort to understand what lay behind the emergence of German operetta as a highly commercially successful form of stage work in Europe and North America. In the wide-ranging research of this year, more precise knowledge was acquired regarding operetta’s renaissance during this period (the “Silver Age”) and its decline in the later 1930s.
The second year of the project was dedicated to an investigation of the economics of operetta and produced research findings in the following areas:
• The competition operettas faced from musical comedy and other local products for the musical stage, especially since they were given at the same theatres
• The status of the theatres that produced operetta
• Those involved in the business of operetta (the managers, music publishers, ticket sellers, investors, record companies, etc.
• The increasing migration of operettas to film after 1930
Examples were found of horizontal integration and vertical integration in the business of operetta: for example, taking over management of another theatre, or adding a new but related business to an existing business (such as adding ticket sales to sheet music sales).
The third year of the project has so far been investigating what kind of star system is in place in operetta and how Vienna and Berlin differ from London and New York. The role of the press is being examined, as well as new media (radio and phonography).
Dissemination of findings: The project’s findings have been the subject of the PI’s invited papers and keynotes in European and North American symposia and conferences (London in April 2015, Ohio in July 2015, Aalborg in August 2015, Oxford in September 2015, Budapest in December 2015, Milton Keynes, Jan. 2016).
An operetta panel was organized for the Royal Musical Association’s Annual Conference in September 2015.

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United Kingdom
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