The first volume of the book series Ottoman Empire and European Theatre focuses on the period between 1756 and 1808, the era of W. A. Mozart (1756-1791) and Sultan Selim III (1761-1808). These historical personalities, whose life-spans overlap, were towering figures of their time: Mozart as an extraordinary composer and Selim III as both a politician and a composer. Inspired by the structure of opera, the forty-four contributions of Volume I are arranged in eight sections, entitled Ouverture, Prologue, Acts I-V and Epilogue. The Ouverture includes the opening speeches of diplomats, politicians, and scholars as well as a memorial text for the "Genius of Opera", Turkish prima donna Leyla Gencer (1928-2008). The Prologue, "The Stage of Politics", features texts by distinguished historians who give an historical overview of the Ottoman Empire and Europe in the late eighteenth century, from both Turkish and Austrian points of view. Act I features texts concerning "Diplomacy and Theatre", and Act II takes the reader to "Europe South, West and North". Act III has contributions concerning theatre in "Central Europe", while Act IV deals with "Mozart" and the world of the seraglio. Act V turns our attention to the Ottoman "Sultan Selim III", and the Epilogue considers literary and theatrical adventures of "The Hero in the Sultan's Harem". Contributions by Metin And, Emre Araci, Tülay Artan, Esin Akalin, Thomas Betzwieser, Annemarie Bönsch, Emil Brix, Christian Brunmayr, Bertrand Michael Buchmann, Aysin Candan, Helga Dostal, Erich Duda, Wolfgang Greisenegger, Heidemaria Gürer, Matthew Head, Caroline Herfert, Bent Holm, Frank Huss, Michael Hüttler, Nadja Kayali, Hans-Peter Kellner, Alexandre Lhâa, Isabelle Moindrot, Ilber Ortayli, Zeynep Oral, Cemal Öztas, William F. Parmentier, Matthias J. Pernerstorfer, Gabriele C. Pfeiffer, Walter Puchner, Günsel Renda, Mustafa Fatih Salgar, Ulrike Schneider, Selin Ipek, Käthe Springer-Dissmann, Suna Suner, Marianne Travén, B. Babür Turna, Derek Weber, Mehmet Alaaddin Yalçinkaya, Selim Yenel.
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DON JUAN ARCHIV WIEN
HANS ERNST WEIDINGER · MICHAEL HÜTTLER
MICHAEL HÜTTLER · HANS ERNST WEIDINGER
Editorial assistance, copy-editing and index: Caroline Herfert, Inge Praxl (Vienna, Austria)
English copy-editing: Heather Evans (Kingston, Canada)
Turkish copy-editing: Suna Suner (Vienna, Austria)
Layout: Nikola Stevanovic (Belgrade, Serbia)
Cover-design: Daniel Egg (Vienna, Austria)
Printed and bound in the EU
Cover-image: Tughra of Sultan Selim III
The symposia were supported by the Turkish Embassy Vienna, the Austrian Foreign Ministry, the UNESCO International Theatre Institute (ITI) – Austrian Centre, the Austrian Cultural Forum Istanbul, and Deniz Bank AG.
Michael Hüttler and Hans Ernst Weidinger (eds.): Ottoman Empire and European Theatre. Vol. 1:
The Age of Mozart and Selim III (1756–1808).
Wien: HOLLITZER Wissenschaftsverlag, 2013 (Ottomania 1)
© HOLLITZER Wissenschaftsverlag, Wien 2013
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ISBN 978-3-99012-065-1 (hbk)
ISBN 978-3-99012-067-5 (epub)
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What reasons can an institution dedicated to research on Don Juan, a paradigmatic figure in Western culture, have to conceive symposia and a book series dealing with the interrelations between the Ottoman Empire and European theatre?
Can there be any reason, apart from odd he-male (‘Don Juan’) fantasies of a fe-male harem at fragrant disposal? Therefore, shouldn’t we simply accept the decision, albeit splenetic or foolish, of some Juanic he-males and not ask further for any reason at all?
Be this as it may, surely the reason for such a decision would be a matter of little consequence if the research results are reliable and relevant; exactly at this junction of empire, hero and stage, is a triple link to the matters of Don Juan.
Don Juan as a European literary figure existed, from his first breath in early seventeenth century Spain to the peak and summit of his career at the end of the eighteenth century, exclusively on stage; during this period, an impressive number of works was produced: they comprise a total of twenty-five completed plays (most of them printed contemporarily), at least ten scenarios (extant in manuscript or printed copies), a dozen operas and vaudevilles, and approximately fifty ballets. The dramatic genre of Don Juan plays could be called a hybrid, as it encompasses elements of tragedy, comedy, pastorale, theological play, and machine theatre.
It was only at the end of the eighteenth century, however, following the ‘opera of operas’, generally called Don Giovanni, written by Lorenzo da Ponte and set to music by Wolfgang Amadé Mozart, that our hero extended his territories and, crossing all genre and gender borders, step by step conquered all forms of art in the Western hemisphere.
The definite turning point is given by George Gordon Lord Byron (1788–1824) who, in his unfinished Heroic Poem Don Juan (1819–1824), describes the hero’s fate, from which a special part (Cantos IV–VII) relates to our question of why one should embark on an extensive study of Don Juan and his relationship with the Ottoman Empire: According to Byron’s narrative, Don Juan, offered and purchased at the Constantinople slave market, was brought to the Sultan’s harem, which he entered under the reign of Süleyman I (r.1520–1566) and left, after one magic night, under the reign of Selim III (r.1789–1807). Back to freedom, Don Juan immediately became involved in the war between the three European empires of that time – the Russian, the Austrian, and the Ottoman.
Similarly, the literary figure of Don Juan has been connected to the Ottoman world or Turkey since its very origins: almost all of the many (more or less) known versions in prose, be it a full text play or a scenario, contain such links, and a series of scenarios makes Don Giovanni a (temporary) renegade for political reasons and for marrying a Muslim princess whom he had abducted from the seraglio of her brother, the Muslim king of Tunis. Here we are not pursuing this track, but only going to see what the three best known authors of Don Juan plays say about their hero’s Turkish context.
The first author of a Don Juan play, traditionally identified as the Mercedarian friar Gabriel Téllez, known as Tirso de Molina (1579–1648) and one of the major playwrights in the Spanish “Siglo de oro” (‘Golden century’), in El burlador de Sevilla y combidado de piedra (‘The trickster of Seville and guest of stone’; Spain, ca. 1615), emphasizes Don Juan the warrior with “Fuerça al Turco” (‘tame the Turk’).
Next is the great comedian of the ‘classic’ period in French literature, Jean-Baptiste Pocquelin, known as Molière (1622–1673), who identifies in his Dom Juan ou Le Festin de Pierre (‘Sir John or The stone feast’; Paris, February 15, 1665) our hero as being of Turkish nature or character: “Mon maistre […] un Turc” (‘My Master […] a Turk’).
Thirdly, one of the most outstanding poets in the history of opera and W. A. Mozart’s preferred poet, Emmanuele Conegliano, baptized as Lorenzo da Ponte (1749–1838), in Il dissoluto punito. O sia Il D. Giovanni (‘The libertine punished. Or: Sir John’; Prague, October 29, 1787) implies that the hero is a womanizer with the famous words “In Turchia novant’una” (‘In Turkey ninety-one’), to signify the number of ladies of all types Don Juan is said to have enjoyed.
In all three aforementioned cases, no author portrays Don Juan describing himself in such a manner, but instead by the only character close to him: by his servant, or rather, his companion in travel and adventures who, in the original play, is also the one who saves his master’s life following a shipwreck – in one word, by Don Juan’s inseparable ‘Other’.
On the other hand, the quest for a historical figure which could have served as a role model for the stage ‘hero’ or perhaps more appropriately ‘anti-hero’, has curiously been denied, rejected, and for some time wholly abandoned by Don Juan scholarship.
Contrary to what generally is assumed, research brought forward by the Don Juan Archiv Wien has concluded that behind the Don Juan subject is not only the old Seville legend of Don Juan Tenorio and his guest of stone, but also a role model that predates the nascency of the first known Don Juan play by about one generation – a gorgeous hero of the European sixteenth century.
And indeed, this historic figure to a large extent owes his glory to his crossing of the Ottoman world: the personality in question is the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V’s youngest son, the gallant and attractive Don Juan de Austria (1547–1578), who was victorious over the Ottoman fleet in the naval battle of Lepanto (1571) – this Don Juan’s highest desire was to reside one day as emperor in Constantinople and to reign over the Orient.
Coming back to our initial question and trying to answer it with a counter-question, we might ask, what other matter would now seem more appropriate for an Austrian institution dedicated to Don Juan than research on the Ottoman Empire and European theatre?
And what historical period is more appropriate to start with than that of the enlightened artists Da Ponte and Mozart in the Western, and of the enlightened Ottoman Sultan Selim III in the Eastern part of Europe?
Therefore, dear reader, I hope that you will be pleasantly surprised by what discoveries the exploration of the world of Ottoman Empire and European Theatre holds in store.
H. E. Weidinger
DON JUAN, OTTOMAN EMPIRE AND EUROPEAN THEATRE: A PROEM
HANS ERNST WEIDINGER (VIENNA)
MICHAEL HÜTTLER (VIENNA) AND HANS ERNST WEIDINGER (VIENNA/FLORENCE)
ORIENTALISM ON STAGE: HISTORICAL APPROACHES AND SCHOLARLY RECEPTION
MICHAEL HÜTTLER (VIENNA)
OPENING SPEECHES – SYMPOSIUM VIENNA (APRIL 25–26, 2008)
UNESCO INTERNATIONAL THEATRE INSTITUTE (ITI) – AUSTRIAN CENTRE
HELGA DOSTAL (VIENNA)
THE AMBASSADOR OF THE TURKISH REPUBLIC IN AUSTRIA
H. EXC. SELİM YENEL (VIENNA)
AUSTRIAN MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, CULTURAL SECTION
H. EXC. EMIL BRIX (VIENNA)
OPENING SPEECHES – SYMPOSIUM ISTANBUL (JUNE 5–6, 2008)
AUSTRIAN CULTURAL FORUM ISTANBUL
CHRISTIAN BRUNMAYR (ISTANBUL)
GRAND NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF TURKEY
CEMAL ÖZTAŞ (ANKARA)
THE AMBASSADOR OF THE REPUBLIC OF AUSTRIA IN TURKEY
H. Exc. HEIDEMARIA GÜRER (ANKARA)
UNIVERSITY OF VIENNA
WOLFGANG GREISENEGGER (VIENNA)
TOPKAPI PALACE MUSEUM ISTANBUL
İLBER ORTAYLI (ISTANBUL)
TURKISH ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
METİN AND (ANKARA)
DEDICATION TO THE GENIUS OF OPERA
IN MEMORIAM LEYLA GENCER
ZEYNEP ORAL (ISTANBUL)
PROLOGUE: THE STAGE OF POLITICS
AUSTRIA’S RELATIONS WITH THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE IN THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY
BERTRAND MICHAEL BUCHMANN (VIENNA)
THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE AND EUROPE IN THE WAKE OF THE SECOND HALF OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY
MEHMET ALAADDİN YALÇINKAYA (TRABZON)
ACT I: DIPLOMACY AND THEATRE
THE EARLIEST OPERA PERFORMANCES IN THE OTTOMAN WORLD AND THE ROLE OF DIPLOMACY
SUNA SUNER (ISTANBUL/VIENNA)
EUROPEAN DRAMA AND THEATRE IN SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY ISTANBUL
WALTER PUCHNER (ATHENS)
AMBASSADORS AND ENVOYS
THE WATCHER AND THE WATCHED: OTTOMAN DIPLOMATIC VISITORS AS SPECTATOR AND ‘PERFORMER’ IN EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY EUROPE
B. BABÜR TURNA (ANKARA)
EUROPEAN AMBASSADORS AT THE OTTOMAN COURT: THE IMPERIAL PROTOCOL IN THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY
GÜNSEL RENDA (ISTANBUL)
“AUF TÜRKISCHE ART PRÄCHTIG AUFGEPUTZT”: THE VISIT TO VIENNA BY THE EXTRAORDINARY OTTOMAN ENVOY, CHADDI MUSTAFA EFENDI, IN THE YEAR 1748
FRANK HUSS (VIENNA)
JANNISSARIES AND MEHTER – TURKISH MILITARY MUSIC
THE MEHTER: CULTURAL PERCEPTIONS AND INTERPRETATIONS OF TURKISH DRUM AND BUGLE MUSIC THROUGHOUT HISTORY
WILLIAM F. PARMENTIER II (ISTANBUL)
ACT II: EUROPE SOUTH, WEST AND NORTH
MILAN, LONDON AND VIENNA
PERFORMING ‘TURKISH RULERS’ ON THE TEATRO ALLA SCALA’S STAGE: FROM THE LATE EIGHTEENTH TO THE MID NINETEENTH CENTURY
ALEXANDRE LHÂA (AIX-EN-PROVENCE)
THE OTTOMAN SERAGLIO ON EUROPEAN STAGES
ESİN AKALIN (ISTANBUL)
“HELP FOR THE TURK”: INVESTIGATING OTTOMAN MUSICAL REPRESENTATIONS IN BRITAIN FROM THE LATE EIGHTEENTH TO THE MID NINETEENTH CENTURY
EMRE ARACI (LONDON)
COPENHAGEN AND PARIS
THE STAGING OF THE TURK: THE TURK IN THE DANISH THEATRE OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY
BENT HOLM (COPENHAGEN)
THE ‘TURK’ AND THE ‘PARISIENNE’: FROM FAVART’S SOLIMAN SECOND, OU LES TROIS SULTANES (1761) TO LES TROIS SULTANES (PATHÉ, 1912)
ISABELLE MOINDROT (PARIS)
ACT III: CENTRAL EUROPE
FROM PARIS TO VIENNA
OTTOMAN REPRESENTATION AND THEATRICAL ALLA TURCA: VISITING AN UNKNOWN VIENNESE SOURCE OF ‘TURKISH’ INCIDENTAL MUSIC
THOMAS BETZWIESER (BAYREUTH)
‘TURKS’ ON THE LATE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY’S STAGE: A RESEARCH PROJECT BASED ON THE VIENNESE REPERTOIRE
MICHAEL HÜTTLER (VIENNA)
THE SECOND TURKISH SIEGE OF VIENNA (1683) REFLECTED IN ITS FIRST CENTENARY: ‘ANNIVERSARY PLAYS’ IN THE PÁLFFY THEATRE LIBRARY, VIENNA
MATTHIAS J. PERNERSTORFER (VIENNA)
FROM VIENNA TO LWIV
MOZART’S PUPIL AND FRIEND: FRANZ XAVER SÜSSMAYR’S SINFONIA TURCHESCA, IL TURCO IN ITALIA, AND SOLIMAN DER ZWEITE
ERICH DUDA (VIENNA)
FREEMASON, MOZART’S CONTEMPORARY, AND THEATRE DIRECTOR ON THE EDGE: FRANZ KRATTER’S DER FRIEDE AM PRUTH (1799). CATALOGUING THE KOMPLEX MAUERBACH, VIENNA
GABRIELE C. PFEIFFER (VIENNA)
ACT IV: MOZART
MOZART AND ‘TURKISHNESS’
‘IN THE ORIENT OF VIENNA’: MOZART’S ‘TURKISH’ MUSIC AND THE THEATRICAL SELF
MATTHEW HEAD (LONDON)
GETTING EMOTIONAL: MOZART’S ‘TURKISH’ OPERAS AND THE EMOTIVE ASPECT OF SLAVERY
MARIANNE TRÅVÉN (UPPSALA)
FROM ZAIDE TO DIE ENTFÜHRUNG AUS DEM SERAIL: MOZART’S ‘TURKISH’ OPERAS
DEREK WEBER (VIENNA)
MOZART’S ‘ORIENT’ ON STAGE
NADJA KAYALI (VIENNA)
THE ELEGANT VOYAGER TO THE CITY OF THE SUBLIME PORTE
‘TURKISH’ AND ‘EXOTIC’ REFERENCES IN THE EUROPEAN FASHION OF THE SECOND HALF OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY
ANNEMARIE BÖNSCH (VIENNA)
EUROPEAN INFLUENCES ON EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY OTTOMAN IMPERIAL FASHION
SELIN İPEK (ISTANBUL)
MOZART GOES TO CONSTANTINOPLE! THE REAL CONDITIONS OF A FICTITIOUS JOURNEY
KÄTHE SPRINGER-DISSMANN (VIENNA)
ACT V: SULTAN SELIM III
IN THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE 1756–1808
A COMPOSITE UNIVERSE: ARTS AND SOCIETY IN ISTANBUL AT THE END OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY
TÜLAY ARTAN (ISTANBUL)
‘GERMAN POET AND TURKISH DIPLOMAT’: MURAD EFENDI, OTTOMAN CONSUL IN TEMESWAR, AND THE TRAGEDY SELIM DER DRITTE
CAROLINE HERFERT (VIENNA)
SULTAN SELIM III: A MAN OF LETTERS AND ARTS
SELIM III AS PATRON OF THE ARTS
GÜNSEL RENDA (ISTANBUL)
SELIM III AS A MAN OF LETTERS AND ART
MUSTAFA FATİH SALGAR (ISTANBUL)
THE PLAY WORLD OF SELIM III
AYŞIN CANDAN (ISTANBUL)
THE HERO IN THE SULTAN’S HAREM
BETWEEN ENLIGHTENMENT AND ORIENT: OBERON BY CHRISTOPH MARTIN WIELAND
ULRIKE SCHNEIDER (WEIMAR)
FROM THE PRINCE OF DENMARK IN THE SULTAN’S HAREM TO DON JUAN IN THE ROYAL DANISH CHAMBERS: THE FORGOTTEN COMPOSER FRIEDRICH LUDWIG AEMILIUS KUNZEN
HANS-PETER KELLNER (COPENHAGEN)
also known as
confer (compare, see)
Diplomarbeit (unpublished Master thesis)
Dissertation (unpublished PhD dissertation)
edited by, editor
et alii (and others)
in the same place
Köchelverzeichnis (Köchel catalogue of Mozart’s works)
sine anno (without year)
sine loco (without location)
sine pagina (without page)
sine nomine (without name/author/editor)
sine typographus (without printer/publisher)
translated by, translator
Translations, if not indicated otherwise, are by the authors of the contribution. Quotations are generally in the original language, followed by an English translation.
For the English version of quotations from W. A. Mozart’s letters, Emily Anderson’s edition The Letters of Mozart & His Family (London: Macmillan, 1938, 3 vols.) has been used. However, Anderson did not always translate the entire text, so the editors of Ottoman Empire and European Theatre had to complete missing parts. In such cases, the editors’ contributions have been indicated.
Double quotation marks are used for quotations in the continuous text; single quotation marks indicate translated words or sentences, as well as otherwise highlighted words or phrases.
Hollitzer Wissenschaftsverlag claims no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-party internet websites referred to in this publication, nor does it guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.
Images are reproduced with the permisson of the copyright owners. Credits are indicated in image captions.
The symposium series Ottoman Empire and European Theatre began in 2008 in Vienna at the premises of the UNESCO International Theatre Institute (ITI) and focused in its inaugural year on the eighteenth century, particularly on the period between 1756 and 1808, the era of W. A. Mozart and Sultan Selim III. Why concentrate especially on this period?
Both of these historical personalities were towering figures of their time, Mozart as an extraordinary composer and Selim III as both a politician and a composer,1 and their life-spans overlap: Mozart was born in 1756 and died in 1791, Selim III was born in 1761 and died in 1808. Moreover, 2008 was the 200th anniversary of Sultan Selim III’s death: after having already been dethroned and imprisoned by the Janissaries in 1807, he was murdered on July 28, 1808. Theoretically, it would have been possible for the two of them to have met each other.2
Thus, we are directing our attention particularly to the second half of the eighteenth century: on the one hand, to the various cultural – to be exact: theatrical and musical – expressions of the exponents of the Ottoman Empire on the theatrical stages of Europe and, on the other hand, to the appearance of European theatre and opera in the Ottoman Empire, especially in its political and cultural centre, Constantinople, now Istanbul.
The topic of Ottoman Empire and European Theatre has met with great interest. In response to our call for papers, so many experts submitted abstracts that it was impossible for us to offer all of them an opportunity to speak at the symposia. To integrate as many participants as possible into this intercultural and interdisciplinary project, we decided to expand the published proceedings to include some contributions by scholars who could not attend and present their work in person.
Forty-four contributions will take the reader on a journey from the heart of Europe to the shores of the Bosphorus. Inspired by the structure of the operatic subject of this volume, the eight sections are arranged and entitled as Ouverture, Prologue, Acts I–V, and Epilogue. The Ouverture includes the opening speeches of diplomats, politicians, and scholars as well as a memorial text for the “Genius of Opera”, the Turkish primadonna Leyla Gencer (1928–2008). The Prologue, “The Stage of Politics”, features two texts by distinguished historians who give an historical overview about the Ottoman Empire and Europe in the eighteenth century from the Turkish and the Austrian point of view. Act I features texts concerning “Diplomacy and Theatre”, and Act II takes the reader to “Europe South, West and North”. Act III has contributions concerning theatre in “Central Europe”, and Act IV deals with “Mozart” and the world of the seraglio. Finally, Act V turns our attention to the Ottoman “Sultan Selim III” and, last but not least, the Epilogue considers literary and theatrical adventures of “The Hero in the Sultan’s Harem”.
Few publications on the topic of the cultural connections between the Ottoman Empire and Europe focus on theatre and opera, and fewer still have engaged the topic of the interaction and reciprocal influences of the Ottoman Empire and European theatre before 1800. This gap in research is addressed by this symposium series and the resulting publications of the Don Juan Archiv Wien.
Starting from the enlightened eighteenth century, we will gradually move backwards to approach the beginnings of the cultural and theatrical relationships between the Ottoman Empire and Europe – the earliest dramatic compositions in Western Europe dealing with the Turks date back to the fifteenth century. Topics to be explored in the following symposia and publications include, among others, seraglios and harems as well as ballet and dance, and personalities like Joseph Haydn, George Gordon Lord Byron, Christoph Willibald Gluck, Molière, and Miguel de Cervantes. Incidentally, the latter took part in the famous naval battle at Lepanto in 1571 where Don Juan de Austria was the leader of the Christian fleet that fought against the Ottoman fleet. Four years later, in 1575, Cervantes was taken into Turkish captivity in Algiers. These experiences were dealt with in his writings and dramas. A publication entitled Don Juan Crossing the Ottoman World by Hans Ernst Weidinger is in preparation and will be published within this “Ottomania” book series.
The editors would like to highlight a particular fact: the primary organizer of the symposium series, the Don Juan Archiv Wien is not a state institution, but a privately financed research institute that carries out scholarly projects in cultural studies and the history of theatre and music in cooperation with state and other public institutions, thus offering a new model for research in cultural history.
Additionally, the international/trans-border structure of the symposia should be noted: the first part of each year’s symposium took place in Vienna, and the second part in Istanbul. Each of these annual symposia will produce a corresponding publication.
We would especially like to thank the cooperating partners in this symposium series, the International Theatre Institute of the UNESCO in Vienna and the Austrian Cultural Forum in Istanbul, as well as the supporters and sponsors: the Austrian Foreign Ministry, the Turkish Embassy in Vienna, and the Denizbank AG. These agencies contributed substantially to the realization of the events and this book.
A big thanks to the kind assistance of all our Turkish friends and colleagues, especially Ayşın Candan and Bereket Uluşahin (both in Istanbul), who, together with Cemal Öztaş, Vice General Secretary of the Turkish Parliament in Ankara, at that time active in his role as Director of National Palaces at the Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul, encouraged us, after many fruitful discussions, to adopt Mozart and Selim III as the historical starting point for a symposium series.
The editors would like to extend a very special thanks to all of the participants in the symposia, without whom the events could not have taken place, including the esteemed audience both in Vienna and Istanbul for its vigorous interest in the Ottoman Empire and European Theatre. Thanks are also due to our colleagues from the Don Juan Archiv Wien for their help in the administration of the events, especially to Suna Suner who is not only an expert on “Opera and Diplomacy”, the subject of her paper, but also contributed her expertise to organize the symposia in Vienna and Istanbul. Thanks also to Johannes Schweitzer and the many others who contributed to the realization of this project. Finally, the book would not exist without the rigorous English language proof-reading of Heather Evans in Kingston, Canada, and the profound editorial assistance of Caroline Herfert and Inge Praxl in Vienna, Austria.
1 See the articles by Mustafa Fatih Salgar and Ayşın Candan in this volume.
2 For this aspect see the article by Käthe Springer-Dissmann in this volume.
Osman, Selim, and Mahomed; Fatima, Zaide, and Roxelane; sultans, renegades, and slaves; seraglios and harems, abductions and escapes… In the eighteenth century, the period on which the present publication Ottoman Empire and European Theatre: The Age of Mozart and Selim III focuses, European theatre and opera included numerous ‘Turkish’ characters and subjects. Exotic settings attracted the audience, and the Turkish-oriental setting was among the most appealing topics. Still today, Wolfgang Amadé Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail (‘The abduction from the seraglio’, KV 384, premiere Vienna, July 16, 1782) is part of the repertoire of every big opera house and among those operas with the highest number of performances.1
The exotic in theatre and opera was not restricted to the Ottoman Empire, but included visions of any other people outside of one’s homeland, which for an average European citizen could include Irish or Scottish people, as well as Hungarian dances or Roma folk songs.
The term ‘exotic’ – which is one of the main starting points for discussions related to the subject of the Ottoman Empire and European theatre – stems from the Greek exōtikós, meaning “from the outside of one’s own sphere”, the foreign, ‘the Other’. Thus, exoticism usually denotes a certain subjective vision of the Other, especially in the arts and cultural production, designed to evoke the atmosphere of a foreign land or people. Thomas Betzwieser, in his 1995 entry to the German language standard reference work Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart (MGG), defines ‘musical exoticism’ as follows:
Unter dem Terminus Exotismus […] werden zumeist eine Vielzahl verschiedenartiger Phänomene und Strömungen zusammengefaßt, deren Hauptmerkmal in einer Beeinflussung der europäischen Kunst durch fremdländische, insbesondere außereuropäische Elemente besteht. Im Zusammenhang mit Musik läßt sich Exotismus im Wesentlichen auf drei Ebenen beobachten: In der Stoffwahl und Ausstattung von Bühnenwerken sowie in der Verwendung “exotischen” Musikmaterials. Der Begriff Exotismus unterscheidet dabei wenig nach der Herkunft der verwendeten Fremdelemente oder deren Stimmigkeit untereinander. […]2
(‘The term exoticism […] usually combines a variety of different phenomena and trends, whose main principal characteristics lie in the influence of European art by foreign, especially extra-European elements. Concerning music, exoticism can be found on three levels: in the choice of subject, in scenography, and in the use of “exotic” music material. The concept of exoticism usually does not differentiate the origin or the coherence of the foreign elements used. […]’)
Betzwieser dates the starting point of the theatrical exoticism to 1670 when the comédie-ballet Le bourgeois gentilhomme (‘The bourgeois gentleman’) by Molière (1622–1673) and Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632–1687) for the first time combined scenographic influences, foreign linguistic patterns, and musical exoticisms. The intertwining of these factors denotes the significance of Le bourgeois gentilhomme for the appearance of the exotic-oriental on the European theatre stage. Furthermore, with regards to the authenticity of the subject, Betzwieser points to the fact that written sources (such as travelogues) were more influential than actual direct local encounters.3 With this in mind, therefore, the exotic in music, or rather the idea of ‘musical exoticism’, according to Jonathan Bellmann (1999),
is almost self-explanatory: it may be defined as the borrowing or use of musical materials that evoke distant locales or alien frames of reference. [It is concerned with] Western repertoires that seek to remind us either of foreign lands (such as the Arab countries, Bali and Java, India, Spain) or various discrete groups within the home society who were regarded as exotic (Romani Gypsies, Native Americans, African Americans, even women). […] Characteristic and easily recognized musical gestures from the alien culture are assimilated into a more familiar style, giving it an exotic color and suggestiveness.4
Leaving aside the word “musical”, this definition could be used in a broader sense for any theatre or other performative work of art.
Ralph P. Locke (2009) extended Bellmann’s approach and developed a new, more detailed definition of musical exoticism, which again can be easily adapted for both music and theatre:
Musical exoticism is the process of evoking in or through music – whether that music is ‘exotic-sounding’ or not – a place, people, or social milieu that is not entirely imaginary and that differs profoundly from the home country or culture in attitudes, customs, and morals. […] More precisely, it is the process of evoking a place (people, social milieu) that is perceived as different from home by the people who created the exoticist cultural product and by the people who receive it. Beneath the surface, the place (people, social milieu) that is being evoked may be perceived as resembling home in certain ways. The differences and resemblances between Here and There may carry a variety of emotional charges: they may register as consoling, may trouble a listener’s complacency, and so on. Whereas the differences between Here and There were generally conscious on the part of the creator(s) of the exotic musical work and readily apparent to listeners of the day, the resemblances may have been relatively conscious or quite unconscious and readily apparent or not readily apparent. For example, they may not have been mentioned by critics at the time of the work’s first appearance. In any case, if the work continues to be performed over many years, such broader cultural resonances – the perceived differences from and resemblances to the home culture – are likely to fade and be replaced by others, given that listeners may now be living in new and different cultural situations and may thus bring different values and expectations to the work.5
Additionally, Locke refers to five binarisms inherent in nearly any exotic music repertoire: the dichotomy between then and now, self and other, nearness and distance, the real and the fictive, musical and extramusical signs.6 The above mentioned definitions, borrowed from musicology, can be applied to theatre as well, as we will see in various essays in this book.
Generally, theatrical exoticism of the eighteenth and nineteenth century has been relatively less discussed than has been musical exoticism. While most publications that deal with theatre and orientalism concentrate on questions related to post-colonial theory and cultural theory, and are usually focused on text-analysis, with only a few exceptions they tend to leave aside the theatricality or the theatrical representations of the object of research.
Christopher Balme (2001) defines theatrical exoticism in the broadest sense as “eine Praxis, fremde Zeichen, meist außereuropäischer Herkunft, als Seh- und/oder Hörvergnügen auszustellen”7 (‘a practice of exhibiting foreign signs, usually of non-European origin, as seeing and/or listening pleasure’).
The term ‘orientalism’ was used in (mainly French) art to refer to works of European artists depicting oriental subjects and also to describe the academic field of Oriental studies in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. When Edward Said (1935–2003) coined the cultural-political concept of orientalism in 1978, the term was redefined and acquired a rather negative connotation. The essence of orientalism is, according to Said’s theory, “the ineradicable distinction between Western superiority and Oriental inferiority”.8 In other words, orientalism is seen as an imperialist form of culture, established by Europeans for Europeans by using imagined pictures and prejudiced visions of the Orient.
Said used among others a theatrical metaphor to describe his perception:
The idea of representation is a theatrical one: the Orient is the stage on which the whole East is confined. On this stage will appear figures whose role it is to represent the larger whole from which they emanate. The Orient then seems to be […] a theatrical stage affixed to Europe.9
The concept of orientalism as developed by Said in the 1970s has become since then a point of reference for almost all authors writing on the Orient or exoticism in theatre or music. It provoked a worldwide academic debate on the subtexts of orientalism and occidentalism; over the last twenty-five years its limitations and distortions have been widely discussed10 and sometimes even wildly attacked.11 Said nonetheless became, together with Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and Homi K. Bhabha, a founding figure of post-colonial theory.
While Said’s idea of orientalism is suitable for the British and French point of view and basically for any colonialist country, it seems to be only partially applicable to matters concerning the Ottoman-European relationship in the culture and arts. On the one hand, the Ottoman Empire was for a long time also part of Europe, especially in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the period focused on in the present publication. Today’s Central and Southeast European countries of Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, and Montenegro had all been – at least to some extent – part of the Ottoman Empire or situated within the Ottoman sphere of influence.12 If the Ottoman Empire is considered as oriental, the Orient started right at the gates of Vienna. Therefore, and also because the Habsburg Empire did not have colonies in the strict sense, Austrian orientalism had different points of departure than those of colonialist countries.13
Said himself wrote about an age of imperialism in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, whose main protagonists were Great Britain and France, but he explicitly excluded the Austro-Hungarian as well as the Ottoman Empire from this discussion: “Moreover, there are several empires that I do not discuss: the Austro-Hungarian, the Russian, the Ottoman, and the Spanish and Portuguese.”14 Contrary to Said, Gayatri C. Spivak considers Germany as one of the main sources of careful nineteenth century orientalist scholarship seen from a cultural and intellectual point of view because of the wide range of authoritative orientalist accounts produced in Germany.15
Said was also one of the first scholars who pointed out that the Western knowledge about the Orient was mainly based on secondary sources:
In the system of knowledge about the Orient, the Orient is less a place than a topos, a set of references, a congeries of characteristics, that seems to have its origin in a quotation, or a fragment of a text, or a citation from someone’s work on the Orient, or some bit of previous imaging, or an amalgam of all these.16
A majority of European authors, especially playwrights, tried to define what has to be considered as ‘Turkish’, without being or having been in direct contact with authentic Turkish culture. Particularly extreme was the prominence of discussions about the harem, an almost mythical location that fascinated a great many male European authors, but none of them had ever had the opportunity to visit a harem, although quite a few claimed to have first-hand accounts of it. Moreover, in most of the cases, the harem or living quarters of the women was confused with the palace itself, the seraglio – hence the vast number of seraglio-plays that came on stage in the eighteenth century, Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail being the most popular of them.
Only rarely was the case different: for example, the diplomat and playwright Franz von Werner alias Murad Efendi (1836–1881)17 wrote about the Ottoman Empire from his own experience.
Orientalism in theatre is closely connected with theatrical exoticism. The aforementioned comédie-ballet Le bourgeois gentilhomme was already dealing with an oriental, that is, with a Turkish subject through false Turks and fake Turkish language and ceremonies. The exotic other is here to be found in the Orient,18 a region constructed and geographically located by German scholars in the relatively near arid areas of the Islamic North Africa and the Near East.19 British-American scholars usually additionally include in the Orient the more distant areas of East Asia (China, Japan), Southeast Asia and South Asia (India, Pakistan).
In European theatre, alterity was always part of the theatrical representation. Already in antiquity, the story of a foreigner from the East (Asia) who came to the West (Greece) and destabilised that culture was a successful subject: since Euripides’ drama (431 BC), for instance, Medea’s faith has inspired the world of music, art and literature.
Among the exotic theatre settings, the Turkish-oriental was the most popular and attractive for the recipients, especially in France, Germany, and the Habsburg lands. In France, already in the sixteenth century “there were twice as many books about the Turks, who seem to have a strong hold on the popular imagination, as about America”.20 The reason for the popularity seems to be due to the proximity – geographical and psychological – of the subject. As Mary Hunter stated, “of all the ‘exotic’ cultures that inhabited popular consciousness during the eighteenth century, that of the Ottoman Empire was one of the few of which a significant number of Western Europeans could have had some direct (albeit limited) experience.”21 Actually the experience was not as limited as it might seem at first glance, especially not for inhabitants of the Habsburg Empire, as Bertrand Michael Buchmann and Alaaddin Yalçınkaya demonstrate.22
From the fifteenth century onwards the inhabitants of the Ottoman Empire – commonly called Turks, as little distinction was made between various dwellers of the Ottoman Empire and Turks as an ethnic group – appear frequently in European theatre. A ‘Turkish’ subject did not necessarily mean that its content was only about the Ottoman Empire or Turkey (as that empire was commonly named), just as the term ‘Turk’ did not necessary mean an ethnic Turk. Up to the eighteenth century the general idea about who was a Turk was very vague and included all kinds of people from the Levant (the countries of the eastern Mediterranean littoral), the North African coast, and Central Asia. In a French dictionary printed 1690, twenty years after the first staging of Le bourgeois gentilhomme, the term ‘Turc’ is explained as follows: “Sujet de l’Empereur d’Orient qui fait profession de la Secte de Mahomet. […] On appelle generalement Turcs, tous les sujets du Grand Seigneur, que le peuple appelle le Grand Turc.”23 (‘Subject of the Emperor of the Orient who is of Muslim religion. […] Generally all the subjects of the Grand Seigneur, who is named by his people the Great Turk, are called Turcs.’) This paints a clear picture of how the average image of Turks was perceived: it was associated with everybody who is a subject of the Great Turk and of Islamic persuasion.
Another example for the simplifying tendency to recognize everybody in the Ottoman Empire in the same way is the so-called Völkertafeln (‘tables of peoples’), showing the characteristics of various European people. These were fabricated in the South German area in the early eighteenth century, and include the Spaniard, the French, the Welsch (Italian), the German, the English, the Swedish, the Polish, the Hungarian, the Russian, and finally the “Tirk oder Griech”24 (‘Turk or Greek’). Here the Islamic Turk and the Orthodox Greek are together presented as a unique, ‘oriental’ figure. Unlike today, there seemed to be no doubt that the Turks were part of Europe.
Interestingly, there is no established English equivalent to the German term Türkenstück or Türkenoper, meaning plays or operas that deal with a Turkish subject, with Turkish characters such as a sultan, settings as a seraglio, or that use historical and political events such as the various sieges of Vienna (1529, 1683). Thomas Betzwieser in his 1995 entry in the MGG connects the term Türkenoper with exoticism in musical theatre:
Im Bereich des Musiktheaters wurde das Phänomen [des Exotismus, MH] lange Zeit mit dem Terminus Türkenoper belegt, da dieser alle möglichen Spielarten des Exotischen einschloß: szenographische Elemente, Entführungsgeschichten und nicht zuletzt die musikalische Konkretisierung der “türkischen Musik”. Ein konkreter Kriterienkatalog für eine Türkenoper läßt sich nicht fixieren, dennoch scheint der Begriff als Hilfskonstruktion solange legitim, als der musikalische Befund keine spezifischen Unterschiede zwischen türkischen, persischen oder nordafrikanischen Exotismen erkennen läßt. Der Terminus reflektiert mithin ein wesentliches ästhetisches Merkmal des Exotismus, nämlich den Pseudocharakter seines Resultats.25
(‘In the field of music-theatre the phenomenon [of exoticism] was for a long time occupied by the term Türkenoper, because it included all possible varieties of the exotic: scenographic elements, abduction stories, and last but not least the musical concretisation of “Turkish music”. A concrete catalogue of criteria for a Türkenoper has not been defined, however the notion as a workaround seems to be legitimate as long as the musical evidence does not recognize any specific differences between Turkish, Persian, or North African exoticisms. The expression therefore reflects a significant aesthetic characteristic of exoticism, namely the pseudo character of its result.’)
For Miriam K. Whaples (1998), it is simply an “opera on any Oriental subject”,26 and “it is of course Eurocentric. (How could it be otherwise?)”.27
The historical reception and theoretical discussion of plays with oriental subjects in the German speaking countries received its initial impetus from Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729–1781) in 1767. The first seven chapters of the Hamburgische Dramaturgie (‘Hamburg dramaturgy’), Lessing’s fundamental work about theatre and dramatic theory, are about the oriental play Olint und Sophronia (1760) by Johann Friedrich von Cronegk (1731–1758). Although this play does not have a Turkish subject in the strict sense – it is set in Jerusalem during the time of the crusades – it has all the attributes of an exotic setting, foreign rites, and oriental atmosphere, and the characters are thoroughly Muslims.
Lessing, thinking in terms of the enlightenment, had a negative opinion about Cronegk’s conception of Islam, and expressed different arguments.28 He also criticized the genre of Christliches Trauerspiel (‘Christian tragedy’), since he thought that the false martyrdom presented in these tragedies is in opposition to “gesunde Vernunft”29 (‘healthy reason’) and dealt with superstition. He also claimed that a good author should not encourage prejudices and an ignoble mentality.
The fact that Lessing dedicated a significant part of his dramaturgical study to an oriental play shows the popularity of such content in those times. In addition, in 1779 he himself wrote one of the most successful plays with an oriental subject, Nathan der Weise (‘Nathan the wise’), containing the famous Ring Parable, which today still forms part of the German cultural canon. This play is still popular and, as such, is included in the school programme and is frequently performed.30
The first scholarly studies about the Turkish subject in theatre and opera were published at the beginning of the twentieth century. In 1902 Wilhelm Gerstenberg issued a theatre-historical work about the Geschichte des deutschen Türkenschauspiels (‘History of German drama with a Turkish subject’),31 in particular about its roots in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. His approach is a characteristic example of the kind of orientalism criticized by Edward Said. Gerstenberg’s attitude in his work betrays a scholar who seems to consider the subject of plays about Turks to be beneath him, but nevertheless necessary to investigate. Therefore Gerstenberg sees himself as an objective scientist, whose duty it is to explore and write even about those “Blumen […], deren Duft nicht jedem zusagt, Dramen, deren literarischer Wert an sich ein Hervorholen aus der Vergessenheit nicht rechtfertigen würde”32 (‘flowers […] whose smell won’t appeal to everybody, dramas whose literary value would not legitimate their saving from oblivion’).
For Gerstenberg, the Ottoman Turks were a half-barbarian tribe that had put an unprecedented pressure on Germany for more than two centuries and by doing so – and also by its alien appearance – had kept the German mind in almost continuous tension.33 Additionally, the author writes about a threat from the “mohammedanische Christenfeinde”34 (‘Muslim enemy of Christians’), since the Islamic confessors wanted to chain the European world as slaves to their faith.35
In 1909, the first musicological study about Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail was published by Walter Preibisch.36 He collected a wide range of sources and gave a broad overview of plays and operas with a Turkish subject in Italy, France, England, and Germany. Preibisch traces the historical roots of Mozart’s Türkenoper among others back to Prospero Bonarelli’s (1582–1659) tragedy Soliman from 1619, “nur 25 Jahre nach der Begründung der florentinischen Oper”37 (‘only 25 years after the founding of Florentine opera’), and gives various examples of ‘captivity’ subjects throughout history that resemble the plot of Entführung, such as The Captive (London, 1769).
In 1958, the first musicological work about the exotic in music was written, Miriam K. Whaples’s dissertation Exoticism in Dramatic Music (1660–1800).38 Whaples focused on a comparison of original, authentic music and its European reproduction. Original Turkish music is differentiated with quotation marks from pseudo ‘Turkish’ or ‘exotic’ music.
Forty years later, in her article “Early Exoticism Revisited”, Whaples took up her earlier position and pointed out, with regard to “‘Turkish opera’ (Türkenoper)”, that “in the musical depiction of exotic characters and situations, seventeenth- and eighteenth-century composers almost entirely ignored what was known in Europe about authentic non-European musics. There was no interest in quoting or imitating the few published examples.”39
In 1975 the first study specifically about Turkish opera was done by Margaret Griffel in her dissertation ‘Turkish’ Opera from Mozart to Cornelius.40 Like Whaples, she distinguished Turkish (authentic) from pseudo ‘Turkish’ music, and came to the conclusion that the ‘Turkish’ opera developed from within its own repertoire without using much ‘authentic’ material. ‘Turkish’ music (identified with quotation marks) is defined as “the Western composer’s efforts at imitating exoticism musically.”41
Published in 1977, Peter Gradenwitz’s book Musik zwischen Orient und Okzident42 (‘Music between the Orient and the Occident’) was, at that time, probably the most substantial cultural historical investigation of the history of music with a main focus on exoticism, and it still is an important source of reference. One of the chapters of Gradenwitz’s book is titled “Die Türken vor Wien” (‘The Turks at the gates of Vienna’)43 and includes an overview of the history of the Turkish subject in opera and music from the fall of Constantinople (1453) onwards.
In 1984 W. Daniel Wilson published a study about the three main German canonical texts, Lessing’s Nathan der Weise, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Iphigenie auf Tauris (1779/1787) and Christoph Martin Wieland’s Oberon (1780).44 In all three works a man from a supposedly superior culture travels to a supposedly inferior, uncivilized country to save a woman – who seems to belong to the superior culture – from captivity. Religion is the main factor of difference. Wilson contextualized these works within the tradition of Türkenoper, and showed that in the Enlightenment the ideal of humanity was influenced by the debate about the non-European world as well as by the European perception of the other.
In her 1988 book about exoticism in German opera from Mozart to Spohr,45 Anke Schmitt studied the oriental subjects of the German late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century opera, analysing scores, libretti, and contemporary travel-reports. Schmitt considered examples from Moorish Spain, the Near East and India, while in the analytical part of her study she focused on the stage works by E. T. A. Hoffmann (1776–1822), Carl Maria von Weber (1786–1826), and Louis Spohr (1784–1859). Schmitt rejected the term Türkenoper as arbitrary and substituted for it the phrase the “Oper orientalischen Kolorits”46 (‘opera with oriental colour’) to include a broader area that also includes antique or biblical subjects.
While the studies about plays and operas with oriental subjects before the 1980s were mainly positivistic, with the emergence of Said’s Orientalism and the various concepts of post-colonial studies, the focus shifted to concepts of alterity.
In 1993, one of the most comprehensive studies of the matter was written by Thomas Betzwieser: Exotismus und ‘Türkenoper’ in der französischen Musik des Ancien Régime (‘Exoticism and “Türkenoper” in the French music of the Ancien Régime’). His research was focused on oriental exoticism in music and opera in France before the French revolution. The analysis included the operas set and performed at the Académie Royale de Musique as well as at the Opéra-Comique, and considered socio-critical reflections of the Théâtre de la foire. Molière’s and Lully’s Le Sicilien ou L’amour peintre (‘The Sicilian or Love makes a painter’) and Le bourgeois gentilhomme are identified as the most important pieces for the development of musical exoticism. Betzwieser concluded that in most cases musical exoticism was “von keinerlei authentischen Material geprägt”47 (‘based on no authentic material at all’), but had its roots in an exotic topic, which had itself developed since the end of the seventeenth century. This had been a matter of deliberate breaching of rules in order to overcome the traditional texture of occidental music. ‘Turkish’ music with cymbals, triangle and bass drum did not play an important role in Ancien Régime France, until two ‘Viennese’ composers, Christoph W. Gluck (1714–1787) and Antonio Salieri (1750–1825) imported this kind of instrumentation in their compositions.48
In 2000, Michèle Longino also considered the subject in Orientalism in French Classical Drama, one of a few studies focused on drama rather than on opera or music. His main objects of research were the seventeenth century classical French dramas by Pierre Corneille (1606–1684; Médée, Le Cid, Tite et Bérénice), Molière (Le bourgeois gentilhomme), and Jean Racine (1639–1699; Bérénice, Bajazet, Mithridate). Longino based his considerations not only on the orientalism debate as initiated by Edward Said, but also on the frameworks of theories of New Historicism, cultural poetics, cultural materialism and cultural studies, as well as post-colonial theory.49
Longino locates the “basic problems of identity and pinpoints the importance of the ‘Other’ in shaping France’s enduring notion of itself”.50 For him, the French authors displayed historically “anxious and hostile attitudes towards the Ottomans, their culture, and their beliefs, and they continue to legitimate such thinking about all outsiders to France, and about ‘Others’ generally”.51 Consequently, Longino sees orientalist attitudes and “the seeds of the colonialism that will come to fruition in the nineteenth century”52 already rehearsed on the French stage of the seventeenth century, especially in the analysed plays.
Also in 2000, Matthew Head’s Orientalism, Masquerade and Mozart’s Turkish Music thematically closed the circle in a way – back to the most famous example, Wolfgang Amadé Mozart’s work. Head’s study is the first to focus on Mozart’s orientalism and ‘Turkish’ music, notably on Die Entführung aus dem Serail and other pieces with ‘Turkish’ connotations, such as Thamos, König in Ägypten (‘Thamos, king of Egypt’) and Die Zauberflöte (‘The magic flute’) or movements in the Piano Sonatas KV 310/300d, KV 331/300i/iii and KV 545. Head studies the applicability of Edward Said’s orientalism theory and the post-colonial context to Mozart’s ‘Turkish’ music and poses the question of “What is Mozart’s Turkish music telling the audience about Turkish music proper and the Ottoman Empire as a whole?”53 In the contribution Head makes to the publication Ottoman Empire and European Theatre, he explores the context of Mozart’s ‘Turkish’ music in Vienna and highlights the mode of masquerade through which statements about ‘Turks’ were asserted in Die Entführung aus dem Serail.54
In 2006, Linda McJannet in The Sultan Speaks55 compared the narrative and dramatic treatments of the story on Timur and Bayezid in English plays, especially in Marlowe’s Tamburlaine, as well as the representations of Süleyman I and his son Mustafa. McJannet studies the plays in relation to their sources and traces the transmission of Byzantine, Arabic, and Turkish histories and their influence on Richard Knolles’s Generall Historie of the Turkes of 1603; Knolles is notable for being the originator of the often quoted phrase about the Turks as ‘the present terror of the world’.
In 2007, David Worrall focused in Harlequin Empire on popular British stage forms from the long eighteenth century, such as harlequinade, pantomime, burletta, and spectacle, which were developed in provincial playhouses, theatrical circuits, and groups of strolling players. In a chapter entitled “North African Islamic States on the British and American Stage”, he discusses the contradictory attitudes of American playwrights towards the issue of white enslavement in North Africa and black slavery in America, and notions of American military intervention and occupation of Islamic North Africa.56
In the last fifteen years numerous British-American scholars considered early modern English drama from the point of view of orientalism. Among them are Richmond Barbour (2003), Daniel Vitkus (2003), Jonathan Burton (2005), Matthew Dimmock (2005), and Linda McJannet (2006).57 Some of these scholars also prepared new editions of ‘Turk plays’.58
Walter Puchner’s studies since 1975 have shed light on the history of theatre plays in Southeast Europe, especially of the nineteenth century, that is during the process of liberation from the Ottoman Empire and the establishment of national theatres.59 Puchner also investigated religious Baroque drama, especially the Jesuit theatre, which had been an important factor in the Ottoman Empire, despite its non-Islamic religious orientation.60 In Ottoman Empire and European Theatre he presents the results of his latest research about seventeenth-century Jesuit and Capuchin theatre and about the theatrical activities of the French embassy in Constantinople in the seventeenth century.61
The cultural exchange between Europe and the Ottoman Empire in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, especially related to the theatre and stage music, has been a research topic for only a few scholars from the Turkish Republic proper. Until recently, few others than the doyen of Turkish theatre studies since 1963, Metin And (1927–2008), had been covering that subject at all. And was also the one and only scholar whose studies were translated in English, German, and other languages and, as such, were internationally available.62 Apart from the content of his numerous articles and books on theatre, opera, and dance in Turkey and the Ottoman Empire, the most interesting material anticipating the Ottoman Empire and European theatre can be found in his 1989/2004 study La scena italiana in Turchia: la Turchia sulla scena italiana63 (‘The Italian stage in Turkey: Turkey on the Italian stage’) about the appearance of Turkish characters in Italian opera and theatre and the emerging of European theatre and ballet in Turkey.
In 1999, Sarah Colvin researched the gender and the Orient on the German stage in 1647–1742.64 She analysed how ideas about gender and alterity were constructed and points out that in the early modern period women were the Other from within, Turks the Other from outside the country: “not only was the identity of the Christian male under pressure from within the Christian state: the latter was also territorially threatened from the outside, by Islam”.65 Here the Other is the woman, the oriental, the “infidel”.66 Women and Turks are rhetorically related groups: ideas associated with both are inconsistency, devilishness, and the triumph of passion over reason. Colvin states that if the oriental male can be categorized with women, he becomes like women in Christian society, which is, controlled by the Christian male.67 Women are frequently portrayed in early theatre, but they are very seldom present as creators, neither as dramatists or librettists, nor as composers. Therefore, Colvin concludes that like the non-Christian characters and comic butts who play alongside them, women are defined by rather than defining the dramatic world.68
Lately in 2001, Esin Akalın in her dissertation investigates the appearance of the Turks in English drama with regard to Edward Said’s orientalism theory.69 By noting the distortion in Said’s scholarship “which not only discusses the unified character of the Western discourse about the ‘Orient’ from antiquity to the present, but which specifically deals with Islamic orientalism, [and] tells us nothing about the Ottoman Empire”,70 she takes his discourse about orientalism as a starting point of her research, especially concerning the appearances of the political leaders of the Ottoman Empire on stage. Akalin emphasizes “that the endlessly repetitive, highly intertextual denial of Ottoman realities in these plays determines in advance the dramatization of the characters”71 and concludes that the authors of the studied plays “participated in the creation and reinforcement of a highly biased picture of the Ottoman/Islam/East which still continues its political actuality to condition the West’s perception of today’s modern Turkey, modern Turks.”72
In Ottoman Empire and European Theatre Esin Akalın writes about the representation of the Ottoman seraglio on the stages of London and Vienna.73
Apart from the aforementioned general studies on the given topic, there are also numerous case studies and editions about single playwrights or opera composers (e.g., on Daniel Caspar von Lohenstein,74 William Percy,75 Gioachino Rossini76), about specific characters (e.g., Roxolana77), and about the editions of plays (e.g., Selimus, A Christian Turned Turk, The Renegado78).
Over the centuries, the Habsburg and the Ottoman Empires had a special relation through their common past. Contrary to most other European powers, the Ottoman and the Habsburg Empires79 were neighbours and therefore shared a long common border in Central and Southeast Europe. The so-called military border, established by the Austrians, was at its peak 2,084 km in length and an average of 22 km wide.80 This border shifted back and forth according to the military strength – consider the example of Belgrade, which was conquered and re-conquered by both sides eight times between 1521 and 1814.81 In the course of this, cultural ‘contact zones’ emerged quite naturally. Such contact zones, a term coined by Mary Louise Pratt in 1991, are “social spaces, where cultures meet, clash, and grapple with each other, often in contexts of highly asymmetrical relations of power, such as colonialism, slavery, or their aftermaths […]”.82
For the Habsburg lands the contact zones with the Ottomans were much closer to home than for the British or French and more directly accessible via Hungary and the Balkans. These zones belonged to the main areas of Habsburg political interest, either within the own borders or directly bordering the homeland. Therefore, as over centuries there was an intensive and more or less constant direct contact with the Ottomans, and although there were certainly significant cultural differences, for the Central or Southeast European population the Turks were not at all exotic. This special relation of the Habsburg Empire with the Orient and the im/possibility of applying the theoretical construct of orientalism and post-colonialism to that geographical area have been discussed in a variety of papers since the early 2000s. Although neither the Austro-Hungarian nor the Ottoman Empire had colonies in the strict sense, some regions and peoples under the respective rule were recognized as quasi-colonialized. See for example the Habsburg Postcolonial83 reader that discusses the “quasi-kolonialen Machtverhältnisse, im besonderen aber ihre kulturellen Dimensionen in Zentraleuropa, innerhalb der habsburgischen Ordnung”84 (‘quasi-colonial power structure, especially its cultural dimensions in Central Europe, within the Habsburg order’). For the issue of colonialism in Southeast Europe, which concerns particularly the case of the shifting borders between the Habsburgs and the Ottoman Empire and the fact that the Balkan people felt colonialized rather by the Ottomans than by the Austrians see Raymond Detrez’s Colonialism in the Balkans: “the term ‘colonial’ was used by many nineteenth-century Balkan authors in order to denote the conditions the Balkan peoples were doomed to live in, especially by the Ottomans”.85
Relations between people from, on one side, what are today France, Italy, Austria, Hungary, and the Balkans, and on the other side from the Ottoman Empire, were a natural subject of the artistic expressions.
For the Habsburg Monarchy the Orient was something right in front of the doorstep: Vienna was the residential city of the Holy Roman emperor, the capital of the Habsburg hereditary states and at the same time the ‘porta Orientis’.86 On the theatre and music stage this closeness has been shown through the staging of the Ottomans as the other. The fascinating repertoire of so-called Turkish pieces, which has attracted audiences since the sixteenth century, deserves constant analysis. The contributions in the present volume will have a share in this.
And, Metin: A History of Theatre and Popular Entertainment in Turkey. Ankara: Forum, 1963.
And, Metin: Karagöz: Turkish Shadow Theatre. Ankara: Dost, 1975.
And, Metin: Culture, Performance and Communication in Turkey. Tokyo: Institute for the Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia & Africa, 1987.
And, Metin: Drama at the Crossroads. Istanbul: Isis Press, 1991.
And, Metin: 40 Days, 40 Nights: Ottoman Weddings, Festivities, Processions. Istanbul: Toprakbank, 2000.
And, Metin: La scena italiana in Turchia: la Turchia sulla scena italiana. Ankara: Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Ankara, 2004 (orig. Türkiye’de İtalyan Sahnesi: İtalyan Sahnesinde Türkiye. Istanbul: Metis Yayınları, 1989).
Akalın, Esin: Discovering Self and Other: Representations of Ottoman Turks in English Drama (1656–1792). PhD thesis, University of Toronto, 2001.
Balme, Christopher: “Einleitung”, in: Das Theater der Anderen: Alterität und Theater zwischen Antike und Gegenwart, ed. Christopher Balme. Tübingen-Basel: Francke, 2001, pp. 7–20.
Barbour, Richmond: Before Orientalism: London’s Theatre of the East, 1526–1626. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003.
Bellmann, Jonathan: “Introduction”, in: The Exotic in Western Music, ed. Jonathan Bellmann. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1998, pp. ix-xiii.
Betzwieser, Thomas: Exotismus und ‘Türkenoper’ in der französischen Musik des Ancien Régime. Laaber: Laaber, 1993.
Betzwieser, Thomas: “Exotismus”, in: Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, ed. Ludwig Finscher. Vol. 3: Eng-Hamb. Kassel-Basel-London-New York-Prague: Bärenreiter / Stuttgart-Weimar: J. B. Metzler, 1995, cols. 226–234.
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