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Topics in Contemporary Repertoire (337-0-1)


Voice vs. Narrative - Contemporary Opera


Hans Christian Thomalla

Meeting Info

RCMA 1-176: Tues, Thurs 2:00PM - 3:20PM

Overview of class

The class will undertake a survey of 20th and 21st century operas with a special focus on works with innovative positions towards the relation of music (voice) and narrative. After a brief analysis of the point of departure (Wagner's Tristan, Berg's Wozzeck) we will discuss works that have radically challenged the traditional understanding of opera: Phillip Glass' Einstein On the Beach, Morton Feldman's
 Neither, Chaya Czernowin's Pnima, Helmut Lachenmann's Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzern as well as works by Salvatore Sciarrino, Liza Lim, and David T. Little. Furthermore, we will look at tendencies in contemporary theater and dance, (Wilson, Wooster Group, Forsythe, Bausch) and discuss aesthetic concepts that influence contemporary opera composition. An important part of the class will be a creative workshop: the students will work on drafting an opera project.

Class Materials (Required)

Course reader to be sold at Quartet Copies