Mimomania: Music and Gesture in Nineteenth-Century Opera


"Mimomania is a thoughtful meditation on the persistence and transformation of the musical mimicry of bodily gesture in nineteenth-century opera. Incorporating and reacting to feminist critique, film studies, and recent, new-wave opera studies, Smart shows that this ostensibly straightforward relation of music and action hides unexpected complexities. From these she rethinks important works from the period and indeed the relation of its two giants, Verdi and Wagner."--Gary Tomlinson, author of "Metaphysical Song: An Essay on Opera

"Mary Ann Smart's important and timely book documents--deftly and in rich musical detail--the ways that nineteenth-century operas reflect a character's emotive state in the music and in sometimes closely coordinated physical gestures. Opera lovers will delight in applying Smart's insights to yet other works: ones that they know, love, and sometimes puzzle over."--Ralph P. Locke, Professor of Musicology, Eastman School of Music

"An outstanding contribution to the study of nineteenth-century opera. Its focus on the relationship between music and gesture provides a new perspective that yields a dazzling array of exciting insights. Not only musicologists, but also cultural historians, theatre historians, feminist theorists and anybody interested in the study of performance will benefit from reading this book. Opera enthusiasts will also enjoy Smart's sometimes irreverent, but always illuminating interpretations of both canonized works and less frequently performed titles."--Emanuele Senici, University of Oxford

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Berkeley, CA
Publication year:
  • 2004


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.