Early Opera in Spain and the New World
It is not surprising that early modern opera of Spain and its New World colonies has enjoyed little scholarly attention, and there are several reasons for this. First, there are few works from the period to discuss. The genre’s growth in Europe came at a time when the Spanish monarchy was unable and unwilling to provide adequate financial support for its development in the peninsula. This lack of funding, in addition to a general rejection of the genre among the populace, meant that opera’s arrival to Spain’s New World colonies would be delayed as well. Second, with the large number of great comedias to study, the small number of operatic works, their perceived lack of quality, and the emphasis placed solely on their musical value, have put the genre at a disadvantage. Third, since these works are musical and feature singing and dance, and Hispanics are not ordinarily trained in these disciplines, they simply may not be interested in undertaking study of them.
This chapter is from Hispanic studies in honor of Robert L. Fiore (2009): 227. Posted with permission.