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QOTD

'I was reproaching Bob Tucker last night for inventing the term "space opera." I told him there had been only one true space opera, and that was a Swedish opera, Aniara. That's the only opera that's about space.' (Edmond "World Wrecker" Hamilton in a 1976 interview with Tangent conducted at Minicon 11.)

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( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
kalimac
Aug. 19th, 2012 06:57 pm (UTC)
I wonder if old Ed similarly objected to the terms "soap opera" and "horse opera" from which Tucker derived "space opera". There actually is at least one of each, the way Aniara is a space opera. The soap opera is Neues vom Tage by Paul Hindemith, which includes a scene with a soprano singing naked in the bathtub (which scandalized an influential opera-lover named A. Hitler, and led to Hindemith finding commissions hard to obtain), and the horse opera is, of course, Götterdämmerung.
randy_byers
Aug. 19th, 2012 09:29 pm (UTC)
Great story about the Hindemith, which I'd never heard of. For the horse opera I thought you were going to name La fanciulla del West.
kalimac
Aug. 19th, 2012 11:58 pm (UTC)
That too. But the horses there are incidental and, I think, omittable. Brünnhilde's horse is an interactive character in the story, and it looks silly when she doesn't have one.
supergee
Aug. 19th, 2012 06:58 pm (UTC)
Jack Vance did a novel called Space Opera It was about an opera company touring in outer space. You know someone had to.
randy_byers
Aug. 19th, 2012 09:36 pm (UTC)
Is it any good?
supergee
Aug. 19th, 2012 09:49 pm (UTC)
I never read it. It's considered minor Vance.
kim_huett
Aug. 25th, 2012 11:51 am (UTC)
I wonder if Mr Hamilton was indeed correct. I recall discovering various mentions of science fictional 'musicals' being made in fanzines such as Science Fiction News (and no, I'm not going to look through 400 issues of that in the hopes of getting lucky) which may or may not be performances of Aniara.
randy_byers
Aug. 25th, 2012 06:32 pm (UTC)
The previous time I looked at Wikipedia's list of science fiction operas, I learned that Haydn wrote an opera in 1777 called Il mondo della luna in which some jackanapes fool a dope into believing he's traveled to the moon. Aniara may be the only opera on the list involving actual space flight, although I'm not completely sure about that, and it's more than possible that the list is incomplete.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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