Discussion Question

| September 29, 2018

“Intrusions
in Asia; Opera and Society and a Dilemma”
Please respond to one (1) of the following, using sources under the
Explore heading as the basis of your response:
Describe two (2) examples of how either black slaves or
white abolitionists used literature or the visual arts as a form of
protest against slavery. Compare this to a modern example of art used for
social protest.Describe the key motives involved in the increased
presence of Westerners in India, China, and Japan in the 1700s and 1800s.
Identify the key factors that led to Britain’s successful imposition of
its presence and trade policies on China, despite communications like
those from Emperor Ch’ien-lung (i.e., Qianlong) and Commissioner Lin Zexu (i.e.,
Lin Tse-hsu). Argue for or against the British policies regarding China in
the 1800s, using analogies from our own modern times.Read, listen to, and watch the sources for the opera
composers at the Websites below and in this week’s Music Folder. Describe
the major influences that Verdi, Wagner, or Puccini exerted upon opera in
terms of making it more innovative, realistic, and even controversial.
Next, consider Wagner and this dilemma: Wagner’s brilliance is clear
because his works remain some of the most popular and admired productions
in our own time. Yet, he was a blatantly antisemitic and held notions of
racial purity, traits that have stained his artistic legacy. (This was
compounded by the later celebration of Wagner’s music by Hitler and the Nazis).
New York Times writer Anthony Tommasini wrote of Wagner in 2005: “How
did such sublime music come from such a warped man? Maybe art really does
have the power to ferret out the best in us.” So, consider the issue
of whether we should or can separate the artist from the art, whether we
can appreciate the art but reject the artist. Or whether we should reject
both the person and his or her art. Identify one (1) modern musician or
artist where this dilemma arises.

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