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In her book Opera for the People: English-Language Opera and Women Managers in Late 19th-Century America, Katherine Preston demonstrates that women were integral in the flourishing of popular English-language opera across the United States in the last decades of the 19th century. Women worked as performers, organizers, businesspeople, and managers in some of the leading opera companies in the country. In this interview, Dr. Preston introduces some of the fascinating women at the center of this story in American musical history and explains how they came to serve such a pivotal role in the musical culture of their time.


WAM research team: Glynnis Gourhan, Felicia Zangari

Faculty advisor: Rebecca Cypess

Video editor: Elly Toyoda