The Legacy of Opera

Reading Music Theatre as Experience and Performance


Volume Editors: and
The Legacy of Opera: Reading Music Theatre as Experience and Performance is the first volume in a series of books compiled by the Music Theatre Working Group of the International Federation for Theatre Research. The series explores the widening of the meaning of the term “music theatre” to reflect new ways of thinking about this creative practice beyond the genres circumscribed by discourses of theatre studies and musicology. Specifically it interrogates the experience of music theatre and its performance energies for contemporary audiences who engage with the emergence of new expressive idioms, new performative paradigms, new technologies and new ways of thinking. The Legacy of Opera considers some of the ways in which opera’s influence has informed our understanding of and approach to the musical stage, from the multiple perspectives of the ideological, historical, corporeal and artistic. With contributions from international scholars in music theatre, its chapters explore both canonic and experimental examples of music theatre, spanning a period from the seventeenth century to the present day.

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List of illustrations
Dominic Symonds and Pamela Karantonis: Empty houses, booming voices
Bianca Michaels: Is this still opera? Media operas as productive provocations
Nicholas Till: A new glimmer of light: Opera, metaphysics and mimesis
Sarah Nancy: The singing body in the Tragédie Lyrique of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century France: Voice, theatre, speech, pleasure
Clemens Risi: Performing affect in seventeenth-century opera: Process, reception, transgression
Magnus Tessing Schneider: The Violettas of Patti, Muzio and Callas: Style, interpretation and the question of legacy
Pamela Karantonis: The tenor in decline? Narratives of nostalgia and the performativity of the operatic tenor
Michael Eigtved: The Threepenny Opera: Performativity and the Brechtian presence between music and theatre
Jeongwon Joe: The acousmêtre on stage and screen: The power of the bodiless voice
David Roesner: Dancing in the twilight: On the borders of music and the scenic
Pieter Verstraete: Turkish post-migrant “opera” in Europe: A socio-historical perspective on aurality
Dominic Symonds: “Powerful spirit”: Notes on some practice as research
Notes on contributors
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