Investigating new models for opera development

Philips, Julian Montague (2012) Investigating new models for opera development. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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This thesis is a culmination of an AHRC funded collaborative doctoral award between
the Centre for Research in Opera and Music Theatre at Sussex University and
Glyndebourne Festival Opera. The research took the form of a Composer in Residence
scheme in 2006-9 and the submission consists of three new operatic projects, Followers,
The Yellow Sofa and Knight Crew.

The thesis takes the form of a series of four case studies which explore the creative and
aesthetic resonances of the above works in addition to a study of Péter Eötvös’s new
opera Love and Other Demons, commissioned by Glyndebourne for the 2008 Festival.
The exploration of all four case studies is intended to offer a range of possible models
for the future development of the operatic art form.

The central creative research questions of this project relate broadly to questions of
context and the reanimation of tradition. In terms of context, each of these four operatic
case studies considers the perspective of the commissioning opera company, of the
creative team, of singers and instrumentalists and of audiences. In terms of the
reanimation of tradition, this research considers ideas around narrativity in opera and
the centrality of the operatic voice and operatic lyricism. The polystylistic nature of
opera is just one of several other themes that emerge as a consequence of this research.

The thesis lays out each case study in chronological order beginning with an
introductory chapter that describes the terms of the residency. Chapter Two considers
the site-specific promenade opera Followers, Chapter Three examines the gestation of
Péter Eötvös’s new opera Love and Other Demons, Chapter Four details the chamber
opera The Yellow Sofa developed as part of Glyndebourne’s Jerwood Chorus
Development Scheme, while Chapter Five projects the central themes of this research
onto a larger-scale, grand operatic canvas in a community-specific context. A final
Chapter Six concludes with a sketch for a new operatic aesthetic, which attempts to
synthesise the creative and research experience of this composer residency.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Arts and Humanities > Music
Subjects: M Music. Literature on music. Musical instruction and study > M Music > M1495 Vocal music > M1497 Secular vocal music > M1500 Dramatic music
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2012 09:43
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2022 15:50

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