University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Dancing 'Nessun Dorma'

Somerville, Daniel ORCID: (2016) Dancing 'Nessun Dorma'. In: The Fourteenth Triennial Conference of the British Comparative Literature Association: ‘Salvage’, 12th - 15th July 2016, University of Wolverhampton. (Unpublished)

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In the 1990s and into the beginning of the 21st century, Luciano Pavarotti helped popularise opera through singing the anthem for the Italia90 soccer World Cup; through concerts with the Three Tenors, and through his inter-music-genre charity concerts, Pavarotti and Friends. In doing so, he helped bring opera, and in particular ‘Nessun Dorma’ from Puccini’s opera Turandot, to a wider audience than ever before. In Daniel Somerville’s practice-research performed presentation, which draws on his research into operatic movement, he muses on how along with positioning ‘Nessun Dorma’ as the most recognisable tune in opera, Pavarotti also instilled an idea of how opera singers move that affirms negative stereotypes of the arm-raising, hand-waving, ‘stand and deliver’ opera star, while also divorcing the aria from its original context. Dancing ‘Nessun Dorma’ seeks to restore the aria to its original literary context and to reclaim the narrative of Turandot through presenting the moving body alongside operatic and autobiographical anecdote. Movement practice participating in, and allowing, a reassessment and revisiting of an aria and narrative that sits problematically at the intersection of Orientalist fantasy and Italian pride.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information:

This was a hybrid paper/performance, so the 'paper' acts also as a performance text and includes stage directions.

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: opera, Nessun Dorma, operatic movement
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
M Music and Books on Music > M Music
M Music and Books on Music > ML Literature of music
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0441 Literary History
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater
Divisions: College of Arts, Humanities and Education > School of Arts
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Daniel Somerville
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2016 09:25
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2020 04:00

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