Western Operas Depict Inaccurate Facts about the Orients

1228 Words Jan 28th, 2018 5 Pages
In order to substantiate my stand, I will also look into some of the western operas that are based on the orient. There are many definitions of Orientalism. Some examples are as followed. According to the oxforddictionaries.com, Orientalism is “Style, artifacts, or traits considered characteristic of the peoples and cultures of Asia.” (Oxford University Press 2014) Edwards Said, author of the book “Orientalism” defines Orientalism as a “corporate institution for dealing with the Orient”, dealing with it by making statements about it, authorizing views of it, describing it, by teaching it, settling it, ruling over it: in short, Orientalism as a Western style for dominating, restructuring, and having authority over the Orient.” (Locke 1993, under "Reflections on Orientalism in Opera") From the definitions available, it can concluded that the word ‘orient’ in the term of ‘Orientalism’ is referring to either the Islamic Middle East (e.g. North Africa, Turkey, Arabia, Persia), or East and South Asia (the ‘Far East’, e.g. India, Indochina, China, Japan).

Orientalism has been part of western arts for a long time. Orientalism in Music occurred since the late Renaissance. This can be seen by a widely performed dance during that period, called the Moresca, which was associated with the Moors of North Africa and was often performed with dark skin makeup and with…

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