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Ellen Lockhart on the Singing Statues and Animated People of Enlightenment Italy

An electrifying take on aesthetic practice in theater and music from 1770-1830

In her recent book Animation, Plasticity, and Music in Italy, 1770-1830, Ellen Lockhart, Assistant Professor of Musicology at the University of Toronto, breaks new ground on questions of national identity and Enlightenment ideas in Italy through the unique lens of Italian theater and ballet. Science, philosophy, music criticism, and cultural history are all in play as Lockhart explores the figure of the animated statue and a peculiar resurgence of the Pygmalion motif at this time on the literal and the national stage. Amelia Linsky, Ph.D. Candidate in Italian Studies at Harvard University, conducts the interview.


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