Darius Milhaud, Esther de Carpentras, and the French Interwar Identity Crisis Public Deposited

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Last Modified
  • March 19, 2019
Creator
  • Walker, Jennifer
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Music, Musicology Graduate Program
Abstract
  • Darius Milhaud's opera Esther de Carpentras was composed during a time when French national and cultural identity was debated anew amongst multiple factions. The merits of an identity based on Parisian centralization over provincial regionalism figured prominently both in the opera's genesis and in the composer's biography. But Milhaud's Jewish heritage was equally significant in his conception of Frenchness, and the opera demonstrates the manner in which a Jewish background, in conjunction with regional specificity, could potentially form the basis of a truly French identity. This thesis first contextualizes the interwar identity crisis and identifies the debates that were prominent during the time. It then examines methods through which Milhaud's opera engaged with such issues; it concludes with a critical examination of the work's reception. Ultimately, it illustrates that the work, for Milhaud, served to represent an ideal patrie through the integration of the Parisian, the Jewish, and the Provençal.
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
Advisor
  • Figueroa, Michael
  • Fauser, Annegret
  • Hess, Jonathan
Degree
  • Master of Arts
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2015
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Location
  • Europe
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Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
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