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Nineteenth-Century National Opera And Representations Of The Past In The Public Sphere

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Chapter Summary

In the nineteenth century, the past was moulded into history not only on the pages of scholarly books or historical novels, but also in the theatre and opera houses. The lack of infrastructure, financial bases, and an educated middle-class reading public resulted in a delayed development of the novel in Eastern Europe. Many nineteenth-century playwrights, composers, and actors regarded their profession as a national mission and considered theatre a suitable medium for promoting the cultivation of the vernacular and creating a national public sphere. The educated Hungarian public was familiar with the figure of László Hunyadi already before Erkel's opera. His character had been recycled in several historical chronicles and works of art, and his life story became one of the most important elements of Hungarian history.

Keywords: Europe; László Hunyadi; national opera; nineteenth century; Public Sphere; theatre

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