144 Pages 18 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    144 Pages 18 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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.


    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



    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