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Violetta Undone: Getting Closer to Opera By Not Making Opera

Somerville, Daniel (2016) Violetta Undone: Getting Closer to Opera By Not Making Opera. In: Music on Stage Conference, 22nd - 23rd October 2016, Rose Bruford College, Sidcup, Kent. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

In early 2016 students at the University of Worcester were set the task of creating an adaptation of Verdi’s La traviata, a work which they knew from having seen the production by Richard Eyre live streamed from the Royal Opera House, at the Odeon Cinema in Worcester. The majority of students attested that this was their first encounter with opera and many were not looking forward to the project. This paper will describe and examine the process of adaptation and will reflect on how the mediated experience of the opera informed the final live production. It will also examine how the devisers of a new work, called Violetta Undone, considered the inclusion of musical and dramatic themes from the opera, as well as how they considered matters of relevance to contemporary audiences. The paper will furthermore consider how this process of undoing the opera not only fulfilled the requirements of the module (to learn about the processes of adaptation) but also brought the students closer to opera as an art-form. The paper will reflect on how, what was ultimately produced, not only radically deviated from what we understand as opera (as represented by the production which acted as a stimulus) but simultaneously adhered closely to the theoretical notion of gesamtkunstwerk which lies at the heart of opera theory. Additionally, questions that will be considered include: What lessons might be learned about educating drama students about opera? And how might undoing opera in a collaborative way inform dramaturgical explorations of operas?

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: opera, adaption, mediated experience, drama students, performance
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
M Music and Books on Music > M Music
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater
Divisions: Academic Departments > Institute of Humanities and Creative Arts
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Daniel Somerville
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2016 09:20
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2017 13:03
URI: https://eprints.worc.ac.uk/id/eprint/4532

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