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.
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
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
Chapter 3: Staging Thought in Satie’s Socrate (1919)
Voice and Music Echoed in Staging and Set
Staging Musical Myth
Staging Socrates’s Death
''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