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Opera on Screen

Citron, Marcia J.

Editore: Yale University Press
ISBN 10: 0300191413 / ISBN 13: 9780300191417
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Titolo: Opera on Screen

Casa editrice: Yale University Press


Condizione libro: Good


0300191413 Bumped and creased book with tears to the extremities, but not affecting the text block - GOOD. Codice inventario libreria Z0300191413Z3

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Riassunto: What happens to opera when it?s presented on the screen? How does an opera change when it becomes a movie, a television presentation, or a video? This book is the first to explore opera and its treatment on the screen from a musicologist?s perspective. Marcia Citron provides a fascinating history of the nearly 100-year-old genre, examines landmark works of opera on screen from a variety of viewpoints, and shows how different electronic media shape the conception of this art form.

The book begins with a comprehensive survey of the origins and development of screen opera. Citron then focuses on such significant works as Franco Zeffirelli?s Otello, Francesco Rosi?s Bizet?s Carmen, Joseph Losey?s Don Giovanni, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger?s Tales of Hoffmann, Hans-Jürgen Syberberg?s Parsifal, Peter Sellars?s four opera productions for television, and the celebrated relay telecast of Otello from the Royal Opera House in London. The author draws on ideas from diverse fields, including media studies and gender studies, to examine issues ranging from the relationship between sound and image to the place of the viewer in relation to the spectacle. As she raises questions about divisions between high art and popular art and about the tensions between live and reproduced art forms, Citron reveals how screen treatments reinforce opera?s vitality in a media-intensive age.

Recensione: For many opera fans, a live performance is a rare luxury. Film and television are infinitely more accessible, with new productions out on video all the time. How do we square a long, slow art form with the agitated media of the 21st century?

Marcia J. Citron, a musicologist at Rice University, finds a richly varied field. Hans-Jürgen Syberberg's Parsifal exploits film's ability to produce cognitive gaps, such as a man's voice emerging from a woman's mouth. Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's Tales of Hoffmann uses a cast of dancers while unseen singers carry the vocal line; the split between sound and image gives it a silent movie's abstractness. Looking at Peter Sellars's productions of Don Giovanni on video, Citron shows how the camera enhances these contemporary settings of 18th-century works. Sellars rethinks Mozartian ensemble numbers--which normally function to bring characters onto common ground--by trapping his performers in isolated close-ups. A good deal of Citron's analysis of Sellars, though, pertains to his original staging, not the video treatments as such, begging the question of exactly when a screen version can be considered a distinct work. The blurry line between a screen opera and the mere opera it originated from is one she crosses repeatedly.

Citron, whose prose is marred by academic jargon, is at her best when she's enthusiastic. Discussing Francesco Rosi's Georges Bizet's Carmen, she documents the way the nonnaturalistic conventions of opera fit into an "everyday" film context: the layer of nonmusical sounds that grounds the story in a recognizable world; the score that at times recedes from the foreground, like a soundtrack; the dusty palette that undercuts the "idealizing travelogue" effect of the Andalusian settings.

Rosi's movie may not be part of a separate discipline but simply an interpretation that draws on the techniques at its disposal. Still, if film and video offer new ways of conceiving opera, of bringing it to more people in an evening than fit into La Scala in a year, who can complain? --David Olivenbaum

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