University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Pavarotti and Me 2020

Somerville, Daniel ORCID: (2020) Pavarotti and Me 2020. [Performance]

Text (Script of performance)
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Text (Abstract)
Final WRaP ABSTRACT for Pavarotti and Me 2020.pdf

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Pavarotti and Me is a practice research project with a number of performance outputs dating from 2015 to 2020. This latest output Pavarotti and Me 2020 is a performance that sums up and concludes the project, reflecting on previous iterations while addressing the research questions and findings.

The research questions concern firstly, the relationship of anecdote and autobiography to our understanding of opera and the operatic, and the nature of non-urban queer performance. The performances centralise the identity of the opera queen as a vehicle to explore these questions. Secondly the project playfully asks, “what happens when an opera queen has a thing for a tenor?” as a way to problematise and further explore gender and queer theory that underpinned this and former research captured in a prior practice research output Admiring La Stupenda (2014-2019). Thirdly, the project tests artist Joshua Sofaer’s claim in Opera Helps and St Matthew Passion, that opera has reparative and transformational potential. The timeline of the project runs parallel to the author’s relationship breakdown and divorce proceedings. Revisiting the material over time, returning repeatedly to recordings of Pavarotti allowed for an incremental understanding of how the creative practice of ‘opera queening’ participated in the processing of personal and emotional upheaval, leading to the revelation of its roots in childhood trauma.
Use of the researcher’s movement practice, Body Opera, based on techniques derived from Butoh, enabled embodied understanding and non-verbal communication to participate in the reflective and inductive methodology.
Public iterations of the project’s outputs include: performances at the Impermanent Festival (ImpFest) London (2015); a practice research performance addressing the participation of dance in salvaging meaning in literature, called Dancing ‘Nessun dorma’, Wolverhampton (2016); a theatrical version at University of Worcester Drama studio (2018); a performance to camera (2019) and Pavarotti and Me 2020, Worcester (2020).

Item Type: Performance
Additional Information:

The latest output Pavarotti and Me 2020 is a performance that sums up and concludes the multi-component practice-based research project Pavarotti and Me (, reflecting on previous iterations while addressing the research questions and findings.

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: Pavarotti, opera, operatic, performance, Opera queen, anecdote, autobiography, childhood trauma, domestic abuse, performance lecture, live art, body opera, queer, queer theory, LGBT, Foucault, queer performance, Italia90, addiction, sex addiction, homophobia
Subjects: 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: 16 Nov 2020 15:06
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2024 10:06

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