This collection of essays seeks answers to the challenges of urban diversity, conflict, and creativity by examining the emergence of musical and theatrical originality in a series of specific cities at particular times. It does so by using various performing arts - opera, dance, theater, music - as windows onto the creativity of urban life. These were urban societies in which the socio-economic and political transformations were taking place at such rapid speed as to force consideration of their meaning and identity. This volume explores the relationship between those creative minds who sought to define their communities and their urban muses rather than examining the arts that they have produced. In other words, it is a book about urban place, not about the performing arts.