Staging Voice  book cover
1st Edition

Staging Voice

ISBN 9781032034270
Published December 21, 2021 by Routledge
144 Pages 18 B/W Illustrations

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $59.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Staging Voice is a unique approach to the aesthetics of voice and its staging in performance.

This study reflects on what it would mean to take opera’s decisive attribute—voice—as the foundation of its staged performance. The book thinks of staging through the medium of voice. It is a nuances exploration, which brings together scholarly and directorial interpretations, and engages in detail with less frequently performed works of major and influential 20th-century artists—Erik Satie, Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill—as well as exposes readers to an innovative experimental work of Evelyn Ficarra and Valerie Whittington. The study is intertwined throughout with the author’s staging of the works accessible online.

This book will be of great interest to students and scholars in voice studies, opera, music theatre, musicology, directing, performance studies, practice-based research, theatre, visual art, stage design, and cultural studies.

Table of Contents


Directing Opera

Staging Voice

Chapter 1: Staging A Vulnerable Voice: Weill and Brecht’s Der Jasager (1930)

‘Music… goes its own vast peaceful way’

Translations and Transformations


Yes and No

Yes-singing and Mute Agreement

Doubling and Muteness


The Gesture

Acrobat, Measure, Distance, Scale

Chapter 2: Binding the Voice: Ficarra and Whittington’s The Empress’s Feet (1995)

A Voice for the Feet

The Empress’s Feet

Sleepwalking Feet

Sleepwalking Empress




Soaring Voice

Hollowed-out voice

Aerial Acrobat


Chapter 3: Staging Thought in Satie’s Socrate (1919)

Enigmatic Work

Flexible Timbre

Satie’s Plato



Swan Song

Nietzsche’s Socrates


Furniture Music

Respectful Silence

Restaging Socrate

Voice and Music Echoed in Staging and Set

Staging Musical Myth

Staging Socrates’s Death

Reference List


View More



Michal Grover-Friedlander is Associate Professor of Musicology and head of the Musicology Department at Tel Aviv University. Her first monograph, Vocal Apparitions: Cinema’s Attraction to Opera, was published by Princeton University Press in 2005. Her second book Operatic Afterlives was published by Zone Books in 2011. She is artistic founder and director of the experimental opera ensemble Ta Opera Zuta.


''Staging Voice offers a revolutionary outlook on the new field of Opera Staging, positioning the ephemerality of the voice at the core of opera and of the director’s work. Written by a renowned voice scholar and opera director, the book deals with emblematic examples of vocal compositions from the 20th century. Each of the chapters exposes the critical challenges the operatic medium is faced with. Staging Voice takes the reader on an intense and poetic journey along the farthest borders of the voice: muteness, doubling, and acrobatics; it explores sinister aspects of resistance and consent; hints at that which dwells in between voice and body and what is at stake in staging myth in contemporary opera. Michal Grover-Friedlander meticulously weaves together practice-based research and theoretical reflection in an unceasing lover’s discourse with the voice.'' Michela Garda, Professor, Department of Musicology and Cultural Heritage, University of Pavia