The Gypsy Baron Operetta (1885) as a musical document of a certain age

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Abstract

Considered a musical monument to the Austro- Hungarian Empire – The Gypsy Baron (originally Der Zigeunerbaron) of 1885 composed by Johann Strauss II (1825-1899) reveals how important position Maria Theresia had in the Empire in the long nineteenth century. It is also a great example of keeping, in Vienna at the end of the nineteenth century, hold of the memory of her politics. The Gypsy Baron is clearly the work inscribed into political situation as it constituted a specific response to a concrete need to stimulate civil attitudes (so desired within the Empire at that time). Treating the Gypsy Baron as a case study, the paper suggests that although the world of operetta might be overlooked or underestimated when discussing the role of political propaganda and the issues of collective memory. It should be recognized as one of the key sites employed to promote the Habsburgs’ vision of their Empire.

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