Arabella (1933) is the first of four major operas that Richard Strauss composed in the 1930s, with Die Schweigsame Frau (performed by Pittsburgh Festival Opera in 2016), Friedenstag, and Daphne following in quick succession. Dr. Christopher Lynch, visiting scholar at Duquesne University's Mary Pappert School of Music, presents an in-depth look at the musical, historical, and political influences surrounding the creation of Arabella in 1930s Dresden.
Dr. Christopher Lynch
Dr. Christopher Lynch's research examines the interface of opera and musical theater in the 1930s through the 1950s. His recent publications have addressed transnationalism, cultural hierarchy, and racial politics as forces that had a powerful impact on the repertoire and performance practices of institutions producing operas and musicals in the mid-twentieth century—right around the time Strauss' Arabella was being produced around the globe.
He is currently writing a book that focuses on the production of Mozart's operas in New York City in the 1940s and 50s, a period that witnessed a significant increase in interest in several of the composer's works for the stage. The book investigates the reasons for this, telling the stories of many of the Jewish artists that shaped these productions after being displaced by the war in Europe, and documenting how the managers of the Metropolitan Opera and City Center Opera infused their productions with Broadway staging techniques to compete with the popular theater.
A second scholarly interest of Dr. Lynch's is the influence of the internationalization of colleges and universities on music history pedagogy. He is currently co-editing with Dr. James A. Davis (SUNY Fredonia) a collection of essays called Listening Across Borders: Musicology in the Global Classroom.
Dr. Lynch has served on the American Musicological Society's Committee on Career-Related Issues, and this year he will begin a term on the society's Committee on the Publication of American Music. Dr. Lynch is also a member of the Mozart Society of America's Publications Committee, and he serves as editor of the newsletter of the Mozart Society of America.