Convergence and divergence in opera and music theatre : supporting thesis for a folio of work
This appraisal presents various musico-dramatic works through the elucidation of source impulse and places them alongside other works in the genre, i and related works by the composer. Four of the works are operatic, in a hybrid form, I 1 which is both typical of and central to the author's creative output. The author ! 1 postulates an analytical theory that transcends the historical limitations of traditional musical, literary or dramatic presentation. For this reason the author adopts a comparative generic and historical analysis, which exposes both their debts to and departures from traditional operatic forms and structures. I Several arguments are postulated to evidence the originality of the works: the use of found or specially constructed instruments; the effect of these instruments on voices through the use of relative pitch; the absence of a traditional orchestra as the basis for an opera; the use of a vocal chorus to provide the role of an orchestra; the use of obscure languages; the use of several languages simultaneously; the symbiotic nature of music and text; the influence of the sound of the languages on the music itself; the ensuing dichotomy between meaning in music and meaning in text and the consequences for the dramatic presentation of the works. Evidence is provided from each of the works to point to originality of compositional style and idiosyncrasy of word setting, and the affects of these issues on contemporary audiences and performers. One research outcome suggests that responsibility for meaning in opera lies ultimately with the performer, rather than with the creator or the score. Such an argument could hardly be more forcibly made than when, as is the case here, both author and composer are one and the same. The works which constitute the portfolio have been performed widely, internationally, commercially recorded, broadcast on radio and some televised.