The New Music Theater: Seeing the Voice, Hearing the Body
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Alternatives to grand opera and the popular musical can be traced at least as far back as the 1912 premiere of Schoenberg's "Pierrot Lunaire." Yet this ongoing history has never been properly sorted out, its complex ideas and philosophy as well as musical and theatrical achievements never brought fully to light. The New Music Theater is the first comprehensive attempt in English to cover this still-emerging art form in its widest range. This book provides a wealth of examples and descriptions not only of the works themselves, but of the concepts, ideas, and trends that have gone into the evolution of what may be the most central performance art form of the post-modern world. Authors Salzman and Desi consider the subject of music theatre from a social as well as artistic point of view, exploring how theatre works in culture, and how music works in the theatre. Illuminating their discussion with illustrations from current artists and their works, The New Music Theater both describes where we have been and points the way to the future of this all-encompassing art form.
classical style (parallel to the so-called original instrument movement in early music performance) is a matter of debate but the advent of countertenors and Mozart sopranos on the opera stage certainly represents a change in taste. A cleaner, whiter sound can also be heard in many modern and contemporary works. These changes represent a small window through which various kinds of singing have become part of new music theater and may yet slip onto the operatic stage. In the theater, as opposed to
melancholic humor in these and other Kagel pieces, which look at tiny spots of our real lives rather than proposing revolutions or utopian worlds. When the entrance of Tosca onto the stage becomes the content of a new piece of Kagel, we ﬁnd a fresh approach to modernist fragmentation, which becomes a bit of technique, an artistic method, or even an ideology. There is something humble, almost naive, in this alternative approach and its success speaks of the communicative capabilities of the author
the musician than from what comes to the ears. In other cases, it would better to close your 11. It is characteristic of the return to opera and chamber opera in the 1980s that the old storytelling in the past imperfect has come back again. 12. Although this work is often referred to as music theater, it can scarcely be mounted—given its size and performing forces—except by large opera companies. Ligeti has, however, used elements from the work to make shorter, more practical excerpts for concert
it doesn’t take much to switch from speaking into singing in Italian. When opera spread all over Europe, it did so as an elevated court or aristocratic entertainment, mostly in a foreign language. Only in Italy was it a popular pastime that appealed to all segments of the population. Opera became a truly popular art form in the eighteenth century with the rise of the opera buffa, but not long into the nineteenth century, seriously tragic operas came to dominate popular taste; opera seria, now in
experimental music. Bussotti, a kind of one-man latter-day camerata, was born in Florence, the birthplace of opera, where he studied piano with Dallapiccola. Like his compatriot, Jean-Baptiste Lully, he spent formative time in Paris. He was inﬂuenced by the serialists, by Cage, and also by developments in the art world; his uncle and his brother were painters and he himself cultivated design and stagecraft as well as composition. He actually taught the history of music theater at the Academy of