1st Edition

Opera, Emotion, and the Antipodes Volume II Applied Perspectives: Compositions and Performances

Edited By Jane Davidson, Michael Halliwell, Stephanie Rocke Copyright 2021
    262 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    262 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    There can be little doubt that opera and emotion are inextricably linked. From dramatic plots driven by energetic producers and directors to the conflicts and triumphs experienced by all associated with opera’s staging to the reactions and critiques of audience members, emotion is omnipresent in opera. Yet few contemplate the impact that the customary cultural practices of specific times and places have upon opera’s ability to move emotions. Taking Australia as a case study, this two-volume collection of extended essays demonstrates that emotional experiences, discourses, displays and expressions do not share universal significance but are at least partly produced, defined, and regulated by culture. Spanning approximately 170 years of opera production in Australia, the authors show how the emotions associated with the specific cultural context of a nation steeped in egalitarian aspirations and marked by increasing levels of multiculturalism have adjusted to changing cultural and social contexts across time. Volume I adopts an historical, predominantly nineteenth-century perspective, while Volume II applies historical, musicological, and ethnological approaches to discuss subsequent Australian operas and opera productions through to the twenty-first century. With final chapters pulling threads from the two volumes together, Opera, Emotion, and the Antipodes establishes a model for constructing emotion history from multiple disciplinary perspectives.


    Part 1 Australian Composers and their Operas

    Chapter 1: From European Romantic to "Wild Colonial Boy"? John Antill and Post-Colonial Australian Opera

    David Symons

    Chapter 2 The Voice of Emotion in Contemporary Australian Opera

    Michael Halliwell

    Chapter 3: Translating Page to Stage: Creating Emotionally Engaging Opera for Children

    Emma Jayakumar

    Chapter 4: Speechless: An Operatic Response to Human Rights Abuse in Twenty-first-century Australia

    Joel Crotty and Cat Hope

    Chapter 5: The Divorce: A Soap Opera

    Helen Rusak

    Part 2 Antipodean Performance and Practice

    Chapter 6: From Patriotism to Alterity: Charting the Australian experience of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas

    Jane W. Davidson and Stephanie Rocke

    Chapter 7: "Lamento d’Arianna": A Transhistorical Study of Staged Emotions and Affective Audience Responses

    Daniela Kaleva

    Chapter 8: Assembling Voyage to the Moon: Emotion, Creativity and Historicity in a New Australian Opera

    Joseph Browning and Jane W Davidson

    Chapter 9: Emotion as Multiple: Rehearsing Voyage to the Moon

    Joseph Browning

    Part 3 Collection Conclusions

    Chapter 10: Antipodean Classification, the Emotions of Othering and Multiculturalism

    Stephanie Rocke

    Chapter 11: What have we learnt about Emotions?

    Jane W. Davidson, Michael Halliwell and Stephanie Rocke


    Jane W. Davidson has performed in and directed opera for more than 30 years. She is currently Head of Performing Arts at the University of Melbourne’s Conservatorium of Music. She has published widely, across the field of music psychology, musicology and practice as research. She is president of the Australian Music and Psychology Society.

    Michael Halliwell has enjoyed a career as an opera singer in Europe and as an academic at the University of Sydney Conservatorium of Music. He has published widely and is president of the International Association for Word and Music Studies.

    Stephanie Rocke is a Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne affiliated with the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, with wide-ranging interests and publications in music and culture across time.