When signing up for essay prompts I jumped to pick a subject of which I was interested. As I am a vocal performance major and am interested in opera, I decided to write my second paper on the subject of the Grand Opera House in Paris, France in 1920s. In a more specific sense, I am focusing on how the company performed works that attempted to accentuate “Frenchness.”
In all honesty, I picked this subject because it would be intriguing and simple. However,it didn’t take long to understand just how wrong I was. In my preliminary search I typed in “Grand Opera House Paris 1920” in Bridge squared. Contrary to my first impression, only one book popped up in my search. The book was titled: Music in the USA- a documentary companion. Needless to say, I wasn’t quite successful in that search. I located an e-book, French Opera: A Short History, and a journal article, Jazzing a Classic: Hylton and Stravinsky’s Mavra at the Paris Opera, through searching “Articles and More.” Still, my first attempt at finding sources proved to be underwhelming.
My second attempt resulted in an interesting find. An ebook by the name of Blackness in Opera by Karen M. Bryan. I am currently exploring the text for information about The Grand Opera House in Paris but have been unsuccessful as of yet. There are some interesting points in the book but I’m questioning how applicable the book is to my research. One point that I learned to address, however, is that The Grand Opera House is also named Palais Garnier.
Considering the luck I was having in my research, I decided that the next step was to search Films on Demand and Alexander Street for any documentaries and/or video recordings. I had no luck in finding relevant films on Films on Demand. On the other hand, on Alexander Street I found many recordings of performances that have been onstage at the Palais Garnier. I haven’t located a relevant video that relates to my research.
Considering how difficult of a time I am experiencing with retrieving sources, both primary and secondary, I have concluded that I need to rethink the direction of my research reflection. Although, I am having an arduous time exploring topics to visit in relationship to the Opera House and Paris in the 1920s. I am going to return to the readings assigned in class to try and retrieve information that could help me. I think that by doing so I might find sources I can draw from. At the moment, I am at a crossfire.
Undoubtedly, the subject has proven more difficult to reflect on. Still, what I have found is intriguing that I know there is plenty of information out there. I just have yet to discover the texts. I remember talking with Professor Epstein about a series of papers he himself wrote that touched on the Opera House. Therefore, I simply need to use my resources and become more creative in how I collect information.