Weekend 2-25-12

Serious history party last night. The British history seminar got together and we debated the nature of the early modern public sphere for about two hours, and then we went and drank more than was probably good for us. Still haven’t settled that public sphere thing, but we’re closer now than ever before.

The big question as far as opera is concerned, however, is whether I am going to go another round with Entführung this weekend. A different version than last time. I think I am up for it. And then there is yet another of Joyce DiDonato’s recital CDs (this one with Patrizia Ciofi) and that Gauvin/Lemieux recording of bits of Handel’s oratorios.

7 thoughts on “Weekend 2-25-12

    1. Habermas is still on the table. Historians of early modern Britain have made the claim that there was such a thing as a public sphere in late-Tudor early Stuart England, but it worked differently in many ways than what Habermas was describing. The key people for the English material are probably Peter Lake, Steve Pincus and Michael Questier.

      The paper we heard yesterday which was the focus of the seminar was about whether you could have such a thing as a ‘public sphere’ on the parish level in London, especially before the civil wars of the 1640s. Opinions differed as to whether this was possible – great fun!


  1. Your party reminds me of a dinner party some years ago with a colleague and her husband. He is a Spanish historian and now teaches at a Canadian university but back then his English was only a little better than my Spanish (non-existent) so we conversed in French, which both of us could speak with enthusiasm if not accuracy. So, in dodgy French, we argued for several hours and vast quantities of wine about whether Fernand Braudel did or did not have a “Theory of History”.

    Great cast on that Salzburg Entführung. I’d love to hear about it.


    1. That sounds like an excellent party to me – did you reach a conclusion in the end about Braudel? Then again, the conclusion is not really the point with debates like this.

      The cast rather than the concept is definitely the draw with this next Entführung. I’ve heard Schäfer in the role of Konstanze on CD and I thought she was great.


      1. I’ve liked Schäfer in everything I’ve seen her in; Lulu, Hänsel und Gretel, Nozze, and Hawlata is one of my favourites. Everything I’ve seen him do has been terrific and apparently he’s hilarious off stage too.


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