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Digital Scenography in Opera in the Twenty-First Century



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ISBN 9780367553920
September 16, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
224 Pages 26 B/W Illustrations

 
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Book Description

Digital Scenography in Opera in the Twenty-First Century is the first definitive study of the use of digital scenography in Western opera production. The book begins by exploring digital scenography’s dramaturgical possibilities and establishes a critical framework for identifying and comparing the use of digital scenography across different digitally enhanced opera productions. The book then investigates the impacts and potential disruptions of digital scenography on opera’s longstanding production conventions, both on and off the stage. Drawing on interviews with major industry practitioners, including Paul Barritt, Mark Grimmer, Donald Holder, Elaine J. McCarthy, Luke Halls, Wendall K. Harrington, Finn Ross, S. Katy Tucker, and Victoria ‘Vita’ Tzykun, author Caitlin Vincent identifies key correlations between the use of digital scenography in practice and subsequent impacts on creative hierarchies, production design processes, and organisational management. The book features detailed case studies of digitally enhanced productions premiered by Dutch National Opera, Komische Oper Berlin, Opéra de Lyon, The Royal Opera, Covent Garden, San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, The Metropolitan Opera, Victorian Opera, and Washington National Opera.

Table of Contents

Introduction Chapter One – Digitally-enhanced opera in the twenty-first century and the modes of synthesis Chapter Two – Digitally-enhanced opera in the twenty-first century and the variants of causal interplay Chapter Three – The lineage of digital scenography: Baroque origins to the twentieth century Chapter Four – The lineage of digital scenography: multimedia opera in the twentieth century Chapter Five – The projection designer and evolving creative hierarchies in opera Chapter Six – Digital scenography and evolving production design processes in opera Conclusion Bibliography

Introduction to digital scenography in opera

What is digital scenography?

Why opera?

Research methods

The modes of synthesis

Examples of practice

Interviews

Chapter outline

References

Chapter One – A new classification system for digital scenography: the modes of synthesis

Articulating the modes of synthesis: non-synthesis, partial-synthesis, and full- synthesis

Non-synthesis—San Francisco Opera, The Magic Flute (2012)

Partial-synthesis—Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, The Magic Flute (2005)

Full-synthesis—Komische Oper Berlin, The Magic Flute (2012)

A comparison of critical responses to the three productions

Conclusion

References

Chapter Two – The variants of causal interplay

Agency: the screen as ‘performer’

Dutch National Opera, The Magic Flute (2012)—partial-synthesis

Victorian Opera, Four Saints in Three Acts (2016)—partial-synthesis

Augmentation: extension and transformation through digitalisation

The Royal Opera, Covent Garden, Don Giovanni (2014)—partial-synthesis

Victorian Opera, The Flying Dutchman (2015)—partial-synthesis

Full-synthesis extremes of agency and augmentation

Opéra de Lyon, L’Enfant et les Sortilèges (2016)—full-synthesis

Autonomy: faux-interactivity versus functional interactivity

The Metropolitan Opera, Das Rheingold (2010)—partial-synthesis

Implications for performers and audiences

References

Chapter Three – The lineage of digital scenography in opera: Baroque origins to the twentieth century

The origins of the Baroque opera paradigm

The Baroque paradigm and the interplay between performer, stage setting, and spectator

New perspectives: the scenic reforms of Ferdinando Galli-Bibiena (1657–1743)

The scenographic transition to ‘grand opera’

The ‘mystic chasm’: Richard Wagner (1813–1883) and the Bayreuth Festspielhaus

Adolphe Appia (1862–1928) and dynamic light

Looking towards the twentieth century

References

Chapter Four – The lineage of digital scenography in opera: multimedia developments in the twentieth century

Avant-garde origins

Edward Gordon Craig (1872–1966) and Enrico Prampolini (1894–1956): ‘a thousand scenes in one’ and ‘luminous forms’

Josef Svoboda (1920–2002) and the dynamic setting of the Laterna Magika

The Tales of Hoffmann (1962)

Günther Schneider-Siemssen (1926–2015) and the holograms of the Salzburg Marionette Theatre

The Tales of Hoffmann (1985)

Looking towards the twenty-first century

References

Chapter Five – The projection designer and evolving creative hierarchies

Industry recognition and acknowledgement

The traditional theatrical hierarchy: director as ultimate authority

The lateral hierarchy: collective directorate

Hierarchical variation: projection designers as the directorial authority

The evolving role of the projection designer

References

Chapter Six – Digital scenography and evolving production design processes

A benchmark of organisational and funding models

The twentieth-century standard for production design

Washington National Opera’s Das Rheingold (2016)—non-synthesis

Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie’s The Magic Flute (2005)—partial-synthesis

Dutch National Opera’s The Magic Flute (2012)—partial-synthesis

Santa Fe Opera’s The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs (2017)—non-synthesis

Komische Oper Berlin’s The Magic Flute (2012)—full-synthesis

Commonalities across the five production design processes

Production design processes and the modes of synthesis

References

Conclusion – The future evolution of digital scenography

References

Appendix 1

Appendix 2

Appendix 3

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Author(s)

Biography

Dr Caitlin Vincent researches the future of work in the arts. Key areas of focus include opera, cultural labour, performance and technology, and equity and diversity. An acclaimed opera librettist, Dr Vincent is on faculty at the University of Melbourne and an affiliate member of the Centre for People, Organisation and Work at RMIT University.