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Voice of American Opera. Opera Quarterly, 23

¶ … Voice of American Opera." Opera Quarterly, 23 (1): 81-95. First published online: July 2, 2008. doi: 10.1093/oq/kbn005 According to Anne Midgett's essay "The Voice of American Opera," American opera is losing ground after decades of gaining respect and popularity. For many years, American operatic training was renowned throughout the world, after overcoming initial European reservations about the nation's ability to produce high-quality singers. However, American vocal training has devolved, rather than evolved and American singers have lost their famed versatility and power. European schooling has grown more competitive; American training less so, particularly given the rise of opera companies that have fueled the growth of vocal departments in conservatories. The demand for 'recordable' voices have also produced a less expansive and powerful voice. Even what constitutes American opera itself -- the setting, director, composer, or source -- is vague. Opera houses seen reluctant to advertise themselves as such, fearing that they might be tainted with charges of elitism, and now often produce musical theater as well as the classical opera repertoire. American composers may indeed be American, but tend to use relatively conservative artistic and musical techniques, and evoke an earlier sensibility rather than challenge it. This may also be a symptom of the need to create opera that is well-suited to the recorded medium. Many listeners are unwilling to commit to hearing a full opera. More domestic and harmonious operatic music, the kind that is listened to as a distraction, rather than as a source of emotional involvement, has……

Pages: 2  |  Article Critique  |  Style: n/a  |  Sources: 0


Metamorphosis of Opera in South Africa

¶ … metamorphosis of Opera in South Africa. We also present the metamorphosis of opera in other parts of the world in order to contrast the transformation with the one observed in South Africa. In out analysis we discuss how the Apartheid era created barriers for black South Africans in Opera production. The barriers of different languages are also explored…

Pages: 35  |  Thesis  |  Style: Harvard  |  Sources: 35


Humanities in Western Civilization

Humanities in Western Civilization The human condition is a complex field - one that in fact requires many different fields of knowledge. The different fields of knowledge that take for their object of study what it means to be human are collectively referred to as "the humanities." The humanities are nothing new - they form an integral part of civilization…

Pages: 13  |  Term Paper  |  Style: MLA  |  Sources: 10


Theoni v. Aldredge

Theoni V. Aldredge Discussion of Theoni V. Aldredge: One of America's Most Gifted Costume Designers According to one admirer, Theoni V. Aldredge is one of America's most gifted costume designers. To date, her stage credits have included "I Can get it for You Wholesale," "Mr. President," "Anyone can Whistle," "A Chorus Line," "Annie," "42nd Street," "Dreamgirls," "Chess" and "The Secret…

Pages: 10  |  Term Paper  |  Style: n/a  |  Sources: 0


Planning Design of Hospitality Facilities

Planning and Design Hospitality The Sydney Opera House is one of the most photographed buildings in the world. It has received many architecture and design awards and it is one of the most striking design features in Australia, and one of the few buildings of its nature that is still being used for its original purpose, as a theater and…

Pages: 7  |  Term Paper  |  Style: Harvard  |  Sources: 15


Opera Feng Yi Ting at Spoleto SC

Chinese Opera Kung Fu and Feng Yi Ting Western audiences may not be intimately familiar with the sights, sounds and conventions of Chinese opera. However, as the American premier of renowned composer Guo Wenjing's Feng Yi Ting at this spring's Spoleto Festival reveals, many of the themes will be recognizable to experienced theatre-goers. A story steeped both in true Chinese history and in the mythology of its dynastic heritage, Feng Yi Ting combines the traditional love-triangle intrigue often seen in western operatic theatre with pointedly Chinese instrumental flourishes, vocal stylings and cultural references. In addition to the familiarity of such themes, western audiences may have some sense of context for the broader imperial implications symbolized by the struggle between the two male protagonists. Certainly, my own interaction with Chinese culture, largely channeled through my childhood love for vintage kung fu theatre and cinema, would demonstrate the recurrence of themes such as internal familial rivalry, female treachery and their far-reaching impact on whole kingdoms. Perhaps this mix of both the familiar and the culturally enlightening is at the root of the opera's considerable critical appeal. Charleston, South Carolina's annual 17 day Spoleto Festival, which celebrates the arts both in a local and international capacity, has received praise for its inclusion of Wenjing's work. According to Moore (2012) "while providing performances of the highest caliber, Spoleto Festival USA maintains a dedication to young artists, a commitment to all forms of the performing arts, a passion for contemporary innovation, and an enthusiasm for providing unusual performance opportunities for established artists." (Moore, p. 1) Quite certainly, Feng Yi Ting qualifies as an unusual performance, at least to the present audience. Wenjing ably conjures the look and feel of courtly life during the great Han Dynasty but held up against a sonic backdrop that betrays decidedly western and contemporary classical conceits. These more traditional operate arrangements were, however, punctuated by the inclusion of Chinese instruments such as the pipa and erhu. (Giovetti, p. 1) In addition, the sometimes shrill but always animated vocalists provided a texture that was both undeniably Chinese in its tonality but also pointedly distinct from the operatic traditions to which western audiences are more generally accustomed. Still, as with any given kung fu movie made somewhat distracting by its halting dialogue or awkwardly phrased subtitles, the tension, intrigue, violence and sexuality tend to convey otherwise universal feelings. So denotes the promotional…

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Opera Review of Igor Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex

Opera Review In Oedipus Rex, Igor Stravinsky is telling a classic tale from Greek mythology. This is achieved by discussing the various challenges. Oedipus is facing, in his quest for discovering a murder. During this process, he is able to learn the truth about many things and how they have impacted his life. To fully understand what is occurring requires…

Pages: 5  |  Term Paper  |  Style: APA  |  Sources: 0


Theatre Today & Theatre for

I read recently how some of the Supreme Court Justices argued that racism no longer exists in the United States, which, when asking many Americans do not agree with. A play like "Doubt" is still relevant in the present because it makes people reevaluate and reassess these issues. Plays, theatre, and other forms of art have the ability to help people consider their attitudes and behaviors. Plays can help us trace the trajectory of social issues to really see and feel how far we have come as a culture and society, or not. Theatre today should continue to build upon the strong tradition of storytelling upon which it is founded. Theatre today for me has quite a challenge and reputation to live up to. There has got to be simplicity -- the elements of good drama must be present and clear. There must be compelling characters, a simple story told in and interesting way, and a structure to the play that is easy enough to follow, but yet again, is intriguing. Theatre for me achieves these balances and blending of elements very well. I do not like theatre with lots of extended monologues. Even in Shakespeare, which a playwright known for monologues and soliloquies, there is a balance between quick banter, short scenes, and longer speeches. I do not like plays with tons of scene changes. Numerous scene changes work in film, which is an entirely different medium. Therefore, I like plays that understand the restrictions of the form, but at the same time, takes risks in how they push the boundaries of what can be done on a play, on stage, as part of the theatrical tradition. I found the selection of plays for the course to be strong, though I did not personally enjoy them all. I learned more about how it is unnecessary to personally enjoy something in order to find value in it or to learn about playwriting, storytelling, and history. Besides telling stories, plays are a way to share history in a more interactive way. People enjoy many of the aspects of production in seeing a play, and those who read plays engage their imaginations as well as the writing on a more personal level. Theatre today has its work cut out for it. Theatre for me has a lot of high and dynamic standards to uphold. I think this is partially because we live…

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English French Theatre Similarities and Differences in

¶ … English French Theatre Similarities and Differences in Spectacle It is difficult to define the differences between French and English theatre in the seventeenth century. In both cases, Italian set design and technology had a great impact. Both French and English took over the new Italian developments at different times. Campbell writes, "The foreigners who visited the English theatres…

Pages: 5  |  Research Paper  |  Style: n/a  |  Sources: 6


Relationship Between Opera Composers and Librettists

¶ … Opera Composers and Librettists Da Ponte and Mozart Although there are a lot of elements involved in making an opera beautiful, the relationship between the composer and the librettist is particularly important, given that the artwork's success largely depends on it. In spite of the fact that the contemporary society is less acquainted with the factors behind an…

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Relationship Between Opera Composers and Librettists

¶ … Opera Composers and Librettists Relationship Between Mozart and Da Ponte in their Collaborations The production of an opera requires the collaboration of multiple individuals who specialize in their particular artistic media. Those individuals at the forefront of the production are the composer, who writes the musical score, and the librettist, who writes the lyrics to complement the score.…

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Theatre - An Art and a Reflection

Theatre - an Art and a Reflection of Our Real Life Ask yourselves when did you attend a theater lately? What play was performed? What was the topic? How did you enjoy the production? What feelings provoked to you effectively seeing the play "live"? Did the play have an impact on your thoughts and perspective of life? Did you find something that fits with your ideas about life or was it similar with something that happened in your real life in the past or with what is happening even now? Did the play made you doubt about your opinion regarding one thing or another from everyday life? Every one of us should have introspection about what represents theatre in our lives. The goal of theatres is not only to present literature in a dramatic way, but it is an art which explore and express ideas, concerns, doubts, hopes of humankind. Performing a play means words, gestures, mimics, feelings expressed live and, especially a communication level directly with the audience. I stand this opinion having in mind the origin of the word "theatre": theatre or theater (from French "theatre," from Greek "theatron,," meaning "place of seeing"). Theatre is the "branch of the performing arts concerned with acting out stories in front of an audience using combinations of speech, gesture, mime, puppets, music, dance, sound and spectacle -- indeed any one or more elements of the other performing arts." Theaters around the world are dedicated to presenting theater as an art form. Usually, the plays chosen for production engage audiences in an introspection and philosophical examination of the complexities of contemporary life (Newsletter of The Wilma Theater). A wonderful performance of a fantastic play is one of the most rewarding and climactic experiences a culture can provide. A society will always provide themes for people to write and perform a play about what's ruling in the real life. Thus, theater influences and is influenced by the society in which it is created and plays performed in theatres reflect profound ideas from a society. Plenty theatres around the world prides themselves in presenting quality theatre, by bringing plays with fresh, surprising, contrasting and sometimes challenging perspectives and points-of-view from real life. "I suppose that theater uses more of the actual substance of life than any other art" wrote Athol Fugard in the 1960s and 70s, in his extensive notebooks. Movies are interesting, but…

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Turandot Spectacle, Exoticism, Intricacy, and

Still, the comic aspects of the play are quite strong and contribute significantly to the transport of the audience and the high theatre of the piece. Comedy comes in many forms, and a play can be very comic or humorous without being considered even a remote example of high theatre. In Gozzi's Turandot, however, much of the humor is derived by the size, stature, and scope of the characters and plot events. Sometimes it is purely because things are so grandiose that they become comic, and at other times it is because of the simplicity and baseness that even characters involved in such high society display that creates humor. one example of this type of comedy comes in an exchange between Brigella and Truffaldino: "BRIGELLA: Think of your own mamma. If she hadn't got married, where would you be? TRUFFLADINO: That's a lie. My mamma never got married at all, and I'm here just the same" (I. vii.). This line is not simply comic because it references sex, extra-marital sex, and because it plays of Birgella's assumption as though it were true ignorance of the birds and the bees, but also because these characters would not be expected to be discussing something so base in such a candid manner. This type of comedy is very similar to farce and other high comedy, transporting the audience through their laughter and through their acceptance of a slight alienation, and high theatre is achieved again. Conclusion Gozzi's Turandot is a triumph of high theatre and commedia dell'arte. Helping to bridge the gap between older and more modern drama through a realistically rooted script, this play still manages to truly transport an audience through its use of spectacle, exoticism, the intricacies of its plot, and its comedy. This is high theatre at its finest. References Gozzi, C. Turandot. Accessed 4 March 2011. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/26730/26730-h/26730-h.htm Opera America. (2012). Gozzi and his Turandot. Accessed 4 March 2012. http://www.operaamerica.org/content/education/learningCenter/details.aspx?id=10 0&id2=100…

Pages: 6  |  Essay  |  Style: n/a  |  Sources: 1


Phantom of the Opera --

But even though the performance itself has a tired quality, and the orchestra and scenery overwhelms the performer's talents, going to see "Phantom" at this point is not so much about what goes on stage, but being part of a theatrical experience. Tourists whisper, and children push and pinch one another, squealing first with anger when the Phantom is first unmasked unseen, then shriek with horror when Erik unmasked again for the benefit of the audience's view. This is not musical theater any more, but spectacle. The emotions of the music and the broadness of the character come careening upon one's skull like the chandelier that falls in the first act. Why do die hard fans continue to go was the answer pressing upon my mind when I sat there, but I know the answer -- no matter how corny the production, the ideal of beauty and the redemption of the beast as a story still has a visceral, comforting power -- a warm McDonald's hamburger for the heart on a cold, emotionally……

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History of Musical Theatre

Musical Theatre is almost as old as America itself. From the 1700s to the present day, the stages across the United States have come alive with the voices and instruments of dramatic, romantic and comedic musicals that have delighted audiences of all ages. It is indeed a part of American heritage that continues and will continue far into the future.…

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Exoticism in 19th & 20th

The finished opera was a work of finely-drawn characters, relentless development to the tragic climax, beautiful Italian verse and dialogue, and an exotic and affecting musical score (New York City Opera Project, n.d.; Metropolitan Opera, 2011). "Madama Butterfly" premiered at La Scala in Milan on February 27, 1904 and was roundly denounced as a "fiasco," chiefly due to the premiere audience, which apparently resembled a modern-day "Maury Povich" audience of heckling pro-and-con factions. While it is difficult to know exactly why the audience and critics were so hostile, several possible reasons have been identified: the opera was rehearsed in secrecy, which alienated a hungry press corps; the second act was unusually long, including Butterfly's entire vigil and straining the audience's powers of concentration; treachery, in which hecklers were deliberately planted in the audience. The next morning's written reviews were also devastating, with headlines such as "Puccini hissed," "Fiasco at La Scala," and "Butterfly, Diabetic Opera, The Result of an Automobile Accident." Due to the negative reception on both opening night and in written reviews, Puccini returned his 20,000 lire fee and revised the opera, premiering it again on May 28, 1904. It is reported that Puccini never fully recovered from the ravaging premiere reception; however, the revised opera survived its initial "lynching" to become a classic example of masterful Exoticism (New York City Opera Project, n.d.; Metropolitan Opera, 2011). 5. Conclusion Travel to foreign continents exposed Western Europe to new, intriguing cultures, moving "westerners" to simultaneously imitate and adulterate "eastern" cultures in Exoticism. A prejudiced outgrowth of European and American encounters with foreign cultures, Exoticism nevertheless enhanced Western art forms of the 19th and 20th Century. Among those biased models were the "exotic geisha" imagery of the Far East and the "earthy Spanish gypsy" imagery originating from the Middle East. Those pervasive images and the Western fascination with them created escapist original source material that was borrowed and embellished to create some of the finest operas of the modern art world. Georges Bizet's "Carmen" and Giacomo Puccini's "Madama Butterfly" are notable examples of "exotic" portrayals that blossomed from and heightened original source material to become classic, enduring masterpieces. Works Cited Boyd, A. (n.d.). Exoticism. Retrieved from The Imperial Archive Web site: http://www.qub.ac.uk/imperial/key-concepts/Exoticism.htm New York City Opera Project. (n.d.). New York City Opera Project: Carmen | Madama Butterfly. Retrieved from Columbia University Web site: http://www.columbia.edu/itc/music/NYCO The Metropolitan Opera. (2011). Carmen |…

Pages: 6  |  Research Paper  |  Style: APA  |  Sources: 0


Technology in Musicals Musical Theatre

However the insertion of the new technology into theatres actually created jobs for people such as theatrical technicians. Each of the areas of production including lighting, sound and scenery were components in the computer controlled revolution that took place in theatres through America and Britain. The author explains that "With scenery being the environment in the modern theatre, then the…

Pages: 28  |  Dissertation  |  Style: Harvard  |  Sources: 0


Beggar's Opera, Written by John

" (I.viii) (P. 58) Despite the fact that there are many improbable elements in Gay's work, his characters are sufficiently human to keep the audience interested. This is part of the effectiveness of his satire. Human beings are used as a metaphor for an inhuman, predatory society. The audience is inclined to sympathize with the low-life characters rather than condemning…

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Theater Ballet Reflection

Theater/Ballet Reflection It seems if that were true, you could do some border and shading option on word to get rid of it. I see nothing but the text. I was truly impressed after attending a recent performance of Mikhailovsky's Ballet Flames of Paris at the Segerstorm Center for Performing Arts in Costa Mesa, CA. The Segerstrom Theater is exactly what a theater should be. The structure itself is awesome and inspiring. I found the architecture so beautiful and modern that it made the whole theater experience unforgettable. The theater is fairly large with four levels of seating. My party was located on the Orchestra Terrace, which is technically the second level. I thought our seats were great. The sound and lighting were excellent from my vantage point. I had an unobstructed view with what I considered to be just far enough back so I could see the expressions of the dancers, and see the scene unfold from both sides in a single view. This ballet was a fast-paced production that moved through five scenes in three acts, all in two hours and ten minutes. Had it not been for the informational program the ballet put on an hour before the curtain went up, I would have gotten lost in the story line. What is most interesting about the plot of this particular piece is that it is essentially political in nature. It was composed shortly after the Russian Revolution which took place at the start of the 20th century. During that time, the arts in Russia were making a dedicated effort to place the context of their own revolution within the wider sphere of political upheavals that had taken place in history. Thus, this work depicts the French Revolution, and the triumphant taking of the Tuileries by the Marseillais. The ballet tells the tale of a pair of peasants who are insulted by the French aristocracy and witness the assault of their father who attempts to intervene. That opening sequence serves as a case study for the type of French arrogance and abuse of power that the peasants seek to overthrow, and do so with a dramatic, tragic finish. My overall impression was this was an absolutely incredible performance. As a dancer I know how difficult it is to do a triple. But these dancers did triples in the air and landed cleanly on their feet every time they…

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Comparative Study of Hwang's Play and Puccini's Opera Madama Butterfly

Transformation of Colonialism in Madama Butterfly and M. Butterfly As the curtain falls on Act III of Giacamo Puccini's Madama Butterfly, the sobbing words of Lt. B.F. Pinkerton echo through the hall, "Butterfly, Butterfly, Butterfly," with the pentatonic tones of the Bonzo theme, and not a dry eye in the house. In the closing lines of David Hwang's M.Butterfly, Gallimard,…

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Opera Composer Librettist Collaboration

Opera Composer Telling stories through music and song is something that "predates history and appears to be universal" (Berger 2000). All one needs to do is a give a group of people around a campfire a guitar and -- even today -- they will shortly be telling stories through song (2000). What will culminate from these songs is a mood that will be either joyful or sad. From this idea of the campfire to the idea of just one single story that is dotted with interludes is just a short jump away. Two lovers meeting (happy song), they were so in love (sweet song), they have problems and so they break up (angry song), the two are devastated by the loss (sad song) (2000). Berger notes that the possibilities and the variations are limitless and the best part is that any style of music can be put to those variations. Opera manages to blur the lines of the narrative and comment (the part between the songs). "Italian opera is simply a different animal from the rest of the world's narrative music traditions. It sprang out of a desire to find, explore, and revel in the music of speech. The beauty of song was something of an afterthought" (Berger 2000). but, music is universal. The biggest problem that Anglo-Saxons have with Italian operas come not from the music (as it is universal) but from the "cultural perceptions about the meaning and value of words" (2000). This is where Verdi comes along. He had no interest in the theories and dogma that some of his contemporaries had for opera -- for example, Wagner, who could not stand having his work referred to as operas; he much more preferred the term "music dramas" (Berger 2000). Verdi was interested in only what he like and he would get rid of the rest. He was practical in the manner of country people and when he went to the operas in Milan for the first time he began to see many problems as well as strengths in the bel canto format (2000). The key point is that Verdi was able to transform the possibilities of those conventions into a thrilling theatrical genre that event he best bel canto composers, such as Rossini and Bellini, hardly imagined possible. He did this by working with the human situations within a drama rather than by painting the individual words…

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Opera French Opera- the Collaboration Between Quinault

Opera French opera- the collaboration between Quinault and Lully The existence of operas is largely owed to the good cooperation that takes place between composers and librettists, with the latter writing the text on which the artwork is based on while the former adapt the respective writing to their perspective on music. Great works have been produced across time from…

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Opera: New Orleans Opera's Don Giovanni Have

Opera: New Orleans Opera's Don Giovanni have enjoyed operatic music for as long as I can remember, but had never attended a live opera until a few years ago. I found the experience less than wonderful; the effect of the lyrics being projected both took me out of the story and made me realize how trivial some of the things people were singing about really were. It was with some apprehension, then, that I agreed to accompany a group of friends to the New Orleans Opera's production of Don Giovanni on November 14 at the McAllister Auditorium. The first thing I noticed was the size of the theatre, which was much smaller than I was expecting. I was even more surprised by the opera itself and how much I enjoyed it. First, there is a big difference in Italian and German opera. The only other live opera I've seen is La Boheme, and Mozart's Don Giovanni has a very different sound. There was an aggressiveness to the music and some of the singing that really appealed to me. What struck me the most,……

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Mozart's Operas

Mozart's Operas An Analysis of the Operas of Mozart The opera was Mozart's favorite mode of artistic expression and he composed twenty-two of them in varying shapes and sizes before his death in 1791 at the age of 35. The "great awakening" of Mozart's operatic achievement, however, comes in the final flourish of his life, beginning with Idomeneo (Cairns 2).…

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Theater of the Opressed History

The noted limitations speak to the weaknesses noted in the study. There is an underlying assumption that theatre would be a viable solution for all those seeking to become empowered. However, as researchers note, each women or individual does not have a propensity for theatre and as such is a limitation of the study. Secondly, because community theatre tends to have a low financial threshold, budgetary constraints may have adverse implications on the success of the project. Lastly, because community theatre is a group project, individual levels of empowerment cannot be effectively measured. There is also concern as to the generalizability across cultures as the study was conducted in Israel. There is no evidence to suggest that such an undertaking would be successful with a group of women representing other countries. As such, the results of this particular study may not be generalizeable to a larger audience, and it may be gender specific since this study focused exclusively on women as the oppressed group. Bibliography Boehm, A., & Boehm, E. (2003). Community theatre as a means of empowerment in social work: A case study of women's community theatre. Journal of Social Work, 3. 283-300. Erven, e. (2001). Community theatre: Global perspectives. London: Routledge. Gutierrez, L. (19940. Beyond coping: an empowerment perspective on stressful life events. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, 21(3), 201-219. Itzhaky, H., & Gerber, P. (1999). The connection between universal values and empowerment: implications for social work practice. In W. Shera and L. Wells (eds). Empowerment Practice in social work: Developing richer conceptual foundations. Toronto: Canadian Scholars' Press. Jackson, S. & Morris, K. (1999). Family group conferences: User empowerment for family self-reliance? A development from Lupton. British Journal of Social Work, 29(4), 621-630. Lee, J. (2001). The empowerment approach to social work practice. 2nd ed. New York: Mda, Z. (1993). When people play people. London: Zed Books. Miller, L. (1979). Creativity and identity: Social drama and social action. Articles in Community Work, 14, 242-248. Rappaport, J. (1987). Terms of empowerment/exemplars of prevention: Toward a theory of community theory, American Journal of……

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Kabuki Theater

Kabuki, a traditional form of Japanese theater, and American theater significant impacted each other. Kabuki formed in the early 1600s in Japan, and strongly reflects the social and gender stratification of the Edo era in which it originated. Three main groups of kabuki plays, the dance-drama, historical drama, and domestic drama make up the majority of kabuki theater that are adapted either from puppet theater, or no or kyogen dramas, or plays written specifically for kabuki. Tokyo's Shochiku Company is one theatrical group that his impacted American theater by presenting kabuki in the heart of the U.S., in Texas. Theater of diversity, as seen in the differences between American and kabuki theater, improves relations between different people through exposure to different cultures and traditions. Kabuki originated from the popular culture of the townspeople. In contrast, other Japanese art forms such as No (a form of theater where actors wear masks, and speak and sing in monotonous tones) had their origins in higher social classes (Japan-Guide.com). In early Kabuki history, actors were considered social outcasts and stage managers were known as kawara kijiki, which means 'riverbed beggars' (Spencer). Kabuki has its origin in Japan's Edo period. The form can be traced back to performances by female shrine dancer Okuni in a dry riverbed in 1603. The dances performed by Okuni and her fellow female dancers combined religious dances and folk dance. Okuni's performances became highly popular, and many troupes soon imitated the style. Performances became increasingly risque and boisterous, and women were banned from performing in 1629. In 1652, a brawl between two samurai competing for the attentions of a young male actor spurred authorities to ban young men under the age of 14 from appearing in kabuki (Spencer). In time, the absence of women from kabuki resulted in the presence of the onnagata acting role, in which largely adult men would play the roles of women (Spencer). Early in the history of kabuki, both men and women acted in kabuki plays. However, during the Edo period, the Tokugawa shogunate banned women from acting in the kabuki (Japan-Guide.com). Even today, women do not participate in kabuki plays, although their participation is no longer illegal (Japan-Guide.com). Notes the University of Texas at Austin, "the art of onnagata had become such an integral part of kabuki that, if deprived of this element, the traditional quality of kabuki could be lost forever." Through the…

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Opera Italy Is the True Birthplace of

Opera Italy is the true birthplace of Opera, where the form shifted and developed over several centuries. From the Latin word opus, meaning "works," Opera has always entailed a dramatic combination of music, singing, stagecraft, and dancing. The earliest operas were composed and performed for a wealthy court audience. As the art form matured, composers tailored their works for the general public and incorporated satirical elements that often mocked the nobility and aristocracy. Nevertheless, the origins of opera remain rooted in an educated community. The earliest known operas were composed by Jacopo Peri, including the first documented opera called Dafne. Florence was the initial hotbed of opera, where in conjunction with Rennaissance revival of the classical arts, composers like Peri created Italian stage dramas to enact ancient Greek plays. For instance, Peri's 1600 piece Euridice is based on the myth of Orpheus. Contemporary and subsequent composers also took to the tradition of reviving the classics and most early operatic themes were based on classical Greek and Roman themes and settings.……

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Elizabethan Theater Elizabethan Theatre Is

Around the pit consisted of three galleries, and it was one above the other, the topmost of which was roofed with thatch. (Costumes and Sets in Shakespeare's Theater) If one was to return back in time and attend a play in Elizabethan theatre, one might immediately witness many attributes of the theatre's interior that would appear to be strange. The…

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Philadelphia Dance Theater it Is an Interesting

Philadelphia Dance Theater It is an interesting fact that the state of Philadelphia has more than thirty excellent and dynamic Dance Companies, and theaters as well, and some of the nations' oldest dance theaters are in existence in the state today. These theaters are based in Philadelphia, and they tour globally. For example, the Pennsylvania Ballet is today celebrating its fortieth year of existence, and the Group Motion Dance Company and the Philadelphia Dance Company are today preparing for their thirty fifth anniversaries. Although all these theaters and dance companies have been growing through a number of changes over the years, its artistic view point is as strong as it ever was. However, it must be noted that the newer and later hip hop dance companies are thriving in Philadelphia as well, and one reason for this is the nurturing type of nature of the Philadelphia Dance Community as such. (Group Motion Press Room, Kick up your Heels) The Philadelphia Dance Theater includes modern ballet, jazz, tap dancing, modern dance forms, flamenco, African-American, Indian, and other types of folk and ethnic dance forms. Philadanco, or the Philadelphia Dance Company, is already at the performing end of another ballet named the 'Horse's Mouth', and this is also reputed to be a first arte performance by Philadelphia's young artistes. This year's performance of the 'Nutcracker' by the Philadelphia Dance Theater, just like its previous ones, would allow families during the Holiday Season a few hours together to enjoy, uninterruptedly, the magical world created for them by the choreographers and the directors and the performers of the play. (Group Motion Press Room, Kick up your Heels) The Dance Theater of Pennsylvania today is more than twenty seven years old, and it still continues its traditional practice of staging beautiful and timeless ballet productions. The 2005 to 2006 season is under way today, and this is the season in which the Nutcracker is generally staged. (Dance Theater of Pennsylvania) The Dance Theatre of Pennsylvania is a non-profit, and a regional ballet company that was formed in the year 1978 by the famous and renowned Marilyn Budzynski. Based in Pennsylvania, this dance theater serves Buck County and other surrounding areas, and it was established with the basic mission of providing extremely valuable pre-professional stage experience for dancers and also for, more importantly, offering quality and affordable dance performances to the country, where everyone would be…

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World Theater History

¶ … Theater History What better way of receiving knowledge and experience from our ancestors is there, if not the theater? Language, civilization, myths, the ways different societies were structured, cloths and mentalities and so many other things about mankind can be found out through theater. Isn't one of the main purposes of the theater precisely, education? Starting with the ancient Greeks, Sophocles, a playwright, politician and priest, is considered to be "the greatest playwright in ancient Greek theater," in any encyclopedia. Who hasn't heard of Oedipus and Antigone? Euripides, with his "strong women characters," like Hecuba, Electra, the Trojan Women, Iphigeneia and Helen, and others are not only among the first to have composed a playwright, but can be considered historians as well. Their playwrights were not serving purposes at their times, but they are still highly valuables to us nowadays. We should not forget about the Romans, too. Even if greatly infleuenced by the Greeks, they are another source of inspiration to every one of us, today. Roman culture and habits are to be found out about in the works of Plautus and Seneca, for example. Theater played also an important part in the Middle Ages. It is true that most of the playwrights were inpired by the Bible, but theere are interesting things to be found out about it, too. The plays were performes by amateurs in wagons on wheels. Thus, the history of world theater goes on through the Middle Ages. Comedia dell'Arte with……

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World Theater History

Roman Theatre History Theatre has been an important part of every civilization empires. People did not have much entertainment in their lives back then and this was the only form of entertainment which would bring them away from the daily worries of work and household. Every theatre represents the culture and reflects the thoughts of that particular civilization and people.…

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Authors Brief Biography and Short Story of Theatre

¶ … Dylan Thomas was born in Swansea, Wales in 1914. He was already publishing poems in his teens, including many for which he would become famous. After Swansea was bombed during World War Two, he relocated to London and worked as a screenwriter. He returned to Wales before the end of the war and then after the war worked for the BBC. He was established as a poet at this time, but needed these other jobs to earn a living. He died in New York while on a tour of America, as touring to read poems was one of his main sources of income. He was 39 when he died. Arthur Miller was born in 1915 in Harlem. He worked producing plays and in 1949 he opened Death of a Salesman on Broadway. This would be the work for which he was best known, and it was a multi-award-winner. He would leave his first wife to marry Marilyn Monroe, and around this time he had problems with the House of Un-American Activities Committee, an event he turned into The Crucible. Walt Whitman was born in 1819 in the New York area. He came to writing after working as a printer. By age 17, he became a teacher on Long Island, before becoming a journalist. He experienced the slave trade on a visit to New Orleans, something that would change him, but he did not fight in the Civil War. He first published Leaves of Grass in 1855. He mostly worked as a clerk and in hospitals, rather than from writing. He died in 1892. August Wilson was born in 1945 in Pittsburgh to a black woman and a white man, the latter of whom was usually absent. His experience as a black person in an all-white school and at times in predominantly white neighborhoods was a critical influence for him. He mostly worked at menial jobs but by 1965 he had begun writing poetry. He was influenced as well by Malcolm X and became involved in theater. He won a Pulitzer Prize for Fences. He passed away in 2005 in Seattle, where he had moved and become involved in local theater. Seamus Heaney was born in 1939 in County Derry, but the family moved a lot when he was a child. He would travel to Derry and Belfast and eventually to the Republic. Much of the inspiration for his…

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Opera Rigoletto

Opera Of all the ways I have thus far encountered Rigoletto, my favorite has been Jean-Pierre Ponnelle's film version. There were certainly elements of his Rigoletto that I appreciated, not least of which was the opportunity to see Luciano Pavarotti play the Duke. Moreover, I appreciated some of the grotesque dimension that the director added to the original Verdi version. However, I got even more out of the new and more unabashed adaptation of Rigoletto currently staged on Broadway. The new Rigoletto adds a comic dimension to the original by blending Rat Pack references with the original drama. There are points to the production that are frankly annoying, which was my instinctual reaction to the Vegas dancers. Yet gradually as the show progressed, I started to "get it." Director Michael Mayer reinterpreted Verdi's opera for an audience already familiar with the original. Mayer relies on the archetypes, of the licentious womanizing Duke, the lovestruck lady, and the concerned jocular father. These archetypes are what make Rigoletto compelling as a story in the first place; while the music is what keeps me coming back again and again. After encountering the opera in a purely audio format, I was prepared for the emotional nuances in the tragedy. Turning the tragedy into a farce, as in the case of the Mayer production, had an interesting impact on the audience. Some loved it, and cheered wildly because something in the whimsical production touched them. It might have been because of the level of familiarity embedded in a Vegas-style production, coupled with modern-day references that rescue the opera from being tied down to its historical epoch, costumes and all. Perhaps the audience on the cheering side are more interested in how directors like Mayer take liberties with classics like Rigoletto, and which elements they choose to remain faithful to; in this case surprisingly little. As unfamiliar as……

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Art Cinema and Theatre of

The concept of identity becomes a major source of ambiguity in Persona. Elisabet Vogler is unwilling to accept her identity as a mother and wife, nor can she bring herself to accept this identity, however, Alma is more than willing to assume these roles. Bergman presents these two women as though they were two parts of a whole, yet neither knows her role nor does she know what makes up her identity (Persona). He is able to demonstrate how the women's identities merge into one through a split screen shot of their faces, which portrays the women as one person (Persona). In "The Theatre of the Absurd," Esslin presents similar arguments about theatre. Like art cinema, the theatre of the absurd aims to break away from traditional narrative. Esslin argues absurdist plays "are living proof that the magic of the stage can persist even outside, and divorced from, any framework of conceptual rationality" (Esslin 4). Additionally, many of these works embrace the absurd, which Ionesco defined as something "which has no purpose, or goal, or objective," a definition that echoes art cinema (4). Esslin also comments on how the theatre of the absurd depicts the world as "an incomprehensible place," which one could argue imbues the style with a sense of realism. The spectator is forced to interpret what they see from what they know and not what they are told (5; 13). The theatre of the absurd also relies on ambiguity, which is created through a playwright's use of language and action. These two elements aim to "penetrate to deeper layers of meaning and to give a truer, because more complex picture of reality" (12). However, unlike art cinema, the theatre of the absurd heavily relies on action because "[l]anguage can be discarded altogether" (12). Despite the differences in medium, Bordwell and Esslin contend art cinema and the theatre of the absurd share several similar characteristics that ultimately aim to break away traditional definitions of classic cinema and theatre. Works Cited Bordwell, David. "The Art Cinema as a Mode of Film Practice." Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings. Eds. Leo Baudy and Marshall Cohen. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. Print. Esslin, Martin. "The Theatre of the Absurd." The Tulane Drama Review. The MIT Press: Vol. 4, No. 4 (May,……

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Real Inspector Hound Tom Stoppard's

In The Real Inspector Hound it is not the actors that are slaughtered by their underappreciated understudies, but rather the critics who are killed off. By referring to the role of the critic as being one of power, Moon not only comments on the impact the critic can potentially have, but also on the necessity for revolution in terms of…

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Exoticism in Nineteenth and Early-Twentieth

Verdi is reported to have additionally been "tapping into a vogue for epic opera on the grandest scale, a concept that had already been popularize by Meyerbeer with L'Africaine in 1865 which was forgotten for the most part at the presentation of the grand epic opera Aida. Verdi is reported to have "cornered the operatic market on the most popular…

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Exoticism in 19th & 20th

S. -- Japan political relationship." (Shepard, "Cinematic realism, reflexivity and the American 'Madame Butterfly' narratives," Page 60) The exotic in western culture and in 19th and 20th century opera representations often refers to objects and people that are Asian and African: "The word "exoticism" relates, etymologically, to places or settings "away from" some vantage point considered normative, most often that…

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Musical Theatre From Musical to

Perhaps the most important element that should be carried over from musical theatre to film is the aspect of character personality. After all, Sarah Brightman originated the popular role of Christine Daae in Phantom. Without these personalities, the characters of the musical would fall flat, no matter how well the songs are produced. This is where the success factor really lies when it comes to the translation of musical theatre productions to film productions. Unfortunately, with the high-quality performance created by the likes of Brightman and Michael Crawford (as the Phantom), the stone-like performances given by Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum could not hold a candle to the original. Likewise, the majority of the cast of Rent seem lackluster and the originals have lost their usual stage presence when translated on film. On the other hand, it is clear that even with the altered cast, personalities such as Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia! And the likes of Richard Gere, Renee Zellweger, and Catherine Zeta-Jones in Chicago lit up the stage and brought about the old "razzle dazzle." So is this truly an element that should be regarded as an important aspect of translation? Definitely. "All elements of the integrated show -- words, music, lyrics, dance, staging -- work together to further the narrative" (Edney). Such necessary elements (song integrity, setting relevance, and character personality) allow the audience to experience the magic of the story in a different set of angles. While the musical stage will always hold a captive audience, placing the same story -- with the same songs, the tone, and the embodiment of the character roles -- on film would also give fresh views of aesthetic storytelling. There is no denying the fact that the film gives a wide array of instant scene changes and a broad spectrum of costume usage and cut scenes that allow the film to be enjoyable to an interested audience. Certainly, these film methods have completely flattered Chicago in such a way that the film production has become even more acclaimed than the original theatre performances. It would then follow that with the proper transition, a film production of a musical theatre performance could also garner wide success and an even bigger audience than just the musical theatre crowd. References Chicago. Dir. Rob Marshall. Perf. Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renee Zellweger, and Richard Gere. Miramax Films, 2002. DVD. Edney, Kathryn. "Resurrecting the American Musical: Film…

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Uncle Tom's Cabin - Fiction

"5 The North primarily used images of the brutality of slavery in their depiction of Stowe's chronicle. Both in text and drawings the Union drew on the grotesque physical evils of slavery to rally support for Emancipation. The power of the visual spectacle opened the eyes of Northerners once ignorant to the evils of slavery. The harsh Fugitive Slave Act…

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Stanislavsky Constantin Stanislavsky Is the

S.S.R. were a high price to pay. Throughout the thirties Western artists came to visit the aging director. Joshua Logan, George Bernard Shaw, Harold Clurman, and Stella Adler all visited the Russian during the latter years of his life. Each of them would take away tidbits of experience and technique which they would then bring back to their own countires. Stalin recognized the Moscow Art Theatre and Stanislavsky as a potential threat, he was aware of some of Stanislavsky's leftist beliefs, but the man had brought a great deal of honor to Russia as an artist; not only that but he was becoming old and feeble. As a result, Stanislavsky was allowed to leave the country and visit the spas of Russia, Germany and France while working on his productions of opera's, ballet's, and plays. Most of Stanislavsky's last years were spent working on his last book, An Actor's Work on Himself. In 1938, Stanislavsky died. After the great theatre artist passed away he was treated as a national hero. Stanislavsky's death allowed Stalin to take full advantage of both the reputation of the Moscow Art Theatre and it's famous founder. It was tremendously important to the dictator to show the world that Russia had a powerful cultural heritage. Stalin wanted to show that his country was the most powerful in the world, and the exploitation of a valuable theatrical history was a part of that. Stanislavsky's work will continue to be studied and respected by theatrical scholars for the foreseeable future. The Moscow Art Theatre, now completely free of all restrictions, still produces high quality work and upholds the cultural heritage of Russia. Bibliography Staislavski, Constantin. An Actor Prepares. New York: Theatre Arts Books. 1936. Brockett, Oscar G. The History of Theatre. Massachusetts: Allyn and Bacon. 1991. Meyerhold and Stanislavsky: Art and the Politics in the Russian Theatre." Russian Theatre Website. http://rutheater.home.att.net/stana.htm Konstantin Sergeyevich Stanislavsky." King Norton Boys. http://www.kingnortonboys.bham.sch.uk/sujects/drama/pages/stanisl.pdf Jones, Gareth. "The Real Truth about Russia at Last." The Daily Express. 3 April 1933. Chambers, David and Pesochinsky, Nikolai. "The Fall and Rise of Meyerhold." American Theatre. January 2000. Vol. 17. No. 1. Pg 24-28. Cohen, Robert. Acting One. California: McGraw Hill. 2002. Cohen, Robert. Theatre: Brief Version. Mountain View: Mayfield Publishing Company. 2000. Cohen, Robert. Acting……

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