Paintings and Palaces, or The Lament of the Burger Flipper

Paintings and Palaces, or The Lament of the Burger Flipper

Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
Date: May 1999
Creator: Salfen, Kevin McGregor
Description: The opera is scored for chamber orchestra consisting of one oboe, two Bb clarinets, two horns in F, one trumpet in C, one tenor trombone, two percussionists (playing snare drum, bass drum, tambourine, wood block, triangle, suspended cymbal, crash cymbal, agogo bells, cow bell, brake drum, metal whistle, whip, large gong, Glockenspiel, chimes, timpani in F (low) and C), eight or more violins in two parts, six or more violas in two parts, and eight or more cellos in two parts. The characters are Alejandro Jiminez, a dramatic tenor; the Manager of Burger Palace, a baritone; the Suits 1/Fast Food Workers, a choir (SATB) and the Suits 2/Customers, a second choir (SATB), each ideally consisting of eight vocalists for a total of sixteen; the Daydream Figures, which are mimed parts; the Man with Gun, which is a spoken part. The opera, in one act consisting of six scenes and an interlude, is based on a libretto by the composer. There is only one scene change: from an essentially empty stage to a fast food restaurant in Scene 4. The length of the work is approximately sixty to sixty-five minutes.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
A Different Drummer: A Chamber Opera

A Different Drummer: A Chamber Opera

Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
Date: May 1999
Creator: Friedman, Arnold Jacob
Description: A Different Drummer is a chamber opera adaptation of Donald Davis's story "A Different Drummer" from his collection Listening for the Crack of Dawn, published by August House. The opera lasts about seventy minutes, and calls for a cast of three and an orchestra of sixteen players. It contains a prologue, epilogue and four scenes in a single act. The score is prefaced by a paper describing the musical strategies employed in setting the story as an opera. Three chapters describe the adaptation from short story to opera, the essential musical elements, and details of the application of the musical elements in each scene of the opera. The libretto is presented in the fourth chapter.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
The Use of Jazz in Opera

The Use of Jazz in Opera

Date: December 1995
Creator: Ottervik, Jennifer
Description: Methods of incorporating jazz in opera range from using simple blue notes and fox-trot rhythms, to utilizing jazz instruments, to employing elaborate passages of improvisation. Current definitions of "jazz opera" do not consider variations in the genre, which, because of their evolving nature and the varied background of their composers, are diverse. This study attempts to collectively discuss these third-stream works. Jazz rhythms and harmonies first appeared in the 1920s in the works of Gershwin, Harling, Krenek, and Freeman. In 1966, Gunther Schuller was the first composer to use improvisation in an opera, which has become the primary distinguishing factor. There has since been a tremendous interest in this genre by such jazz musicians as Dave Burrell, Anthony Davis, Duke Ellington, Max Roach, Anthony Braxton, George Gruntz, and Jon Faddis.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
The Cimbasso and Tuba in the Operatic Works of Giuseppe Verdi: A Pedagogical and Aesthetic Comparison

The Cimbasso and Tuba in the Operatic Works of Giuseppe Verdi: A Pedagogical and Aesthetic Comparison

Date: August 2010
Creator: Costantino, Alexander
Description: In recent years, the use of the cimbasso has gained popularity in Giuseppe Verdi opera performances throughout the world. In the past, the tuba or the bass trombone was used regularly instead of the cimbasso because less regard was given to what Verdi may have intended. Today, one expects more attention to historical precedent, which is evident in many contemporary Verdi opera performances. However, the tuba continues to be used commonly in performances of Verdi opera productions throughout the United States. The use of the tuba in the U.S. is due to a lack of awareness and a limited availability of the cimbasso. This paper demonstrates the pedagogical and aesthetic differences between the use of the tuba and the modern cimbasso when performing the works of Giuseppe Verdi operas.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Mozartean Gesture and Rhetoric in Hummel's Concerto for Trumpet

Mozartean Gesture and Rhetoric in Hummel's Concerto for Trumpet

Date: May 2008
Creator: Phillips, Edward
Description: Hummel's Concerto for Trumpet (Concerto a Tromba principale) is overtly operatic and is stylistically reminiscent of Mozart's Don Giovanni. Using the methodology of Leonard Ratner and Wye J. Allanbrook, it is possible to explore gesture and rhetoric in Hummel's Concerto for Trumpet and Mozart's Don Giovanni, and achieve a deeper understanding of the stylistic similarities shared between the two works. In the third movement, dance is the most significant link to Don Giovanni. In the second movement, Hummel alternates between the emotions of Donna Anna and Don Ottavio as they appear in act 1, scene 13. The first movement makes extensive use of contrasting topics identified with buffa and seria characters to advance the musical narrative. Comparing Hummel's concerto and Mozart's opera is a hermeneutical approach that illuminates several performance practice implications. Knowing the expressive similarities and rhetorical strategies common to both works clarifies several issues, such as tempo, ornamentation, and above all, expression. Though Mozart's Don Giovanni and Hummel's Concerto for Trumpet are unequal in significance, it would be valuable to any interpretation of Hummel's concerto if the performer and audience acknowledge that the work is rhetorically and stylistically similar to Mozart's Don Giovanni.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Matador

Matador

Date: May 1998
Creator: Patino, Julio
Description: Matador is an opera scored for orchestra, mixed chorus and soloists (mezzosoprano, 3 tenors, 2 baritones). The work is in one act divided into two main sections. Each of these sections is divided into subsections. The libretto is aphoristic in nature and dictates the form of each of these subsections. The division into two parts also serves as a means to evoke a sense of hopelessness of emotions in the first and a transforming disposition that culminates in a jubilant song in the second.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Michael Nyman: The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat

Michael Nyman: The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat

Date: May 2008
Creator: Avant-Rossi, Joan
Description: Composer Michael Nyman wrote the one-act, minimalist opera The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, based off the neurological case study written by Oliver Sacks under the same title. The opera is about a professional singer and professor whom suffers from visual agnosia. In chapter 1, the plot and history of the opera are discussed. Chapter 2 places The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat alongside a selection of minimalist operas from Philip Glass and John Adams. Chapter 3 contains a history of the Fluxus art movement and shows where Fluxus-like examples appear in the opera. Chapter 4 includes Nyman's usage of minimalism, vocal congruencies, and Robert Schumann as musical elements that convey the drama.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Reconstructing Convention: Ensemble Forms in the Operas of Jules Massenet

Reconstructing Convention: Ensemble Forms in the Operas of Jules Massenet

Date: December 2004
Creator: Straughn, Gregory
Description: Over the last quarter-century, scholars have taken a unified approach in discussing form in Italian and French opera of the nineteenth century. This approach centers around the four-part aria and duet form begun by Bellini, codified by Rossini, modified by Verdi, and dissolved by Puccini. A similar trajectory can be seen in French opera in the works of Meyerbeer, Gounod, and Massenet; however, only Meyerbeer and Gounod have received significant critical attention. This is in part due to Massenet's reception as a "composer for the people," a title ill fitting and ripe for reconsideration. This dissertation will examine duet forms in Massenet's oeuvre and will focus on the gradual change in style manifest in his twenty-five operas. Massenet's output can be divided into three distinct periods delineated by his approach to form. Representative works from each period will show how he inherited, interpreted, thwarted, and ultimately rewrote the standard formal conventions of his time and in doing so, created a dramaturgical approach to opera that unified the formerly separate number-based elements. Massenet's longevity and popular appeal make him the quintessential French opera composer of the fin de siècle and the natural choice for examining reconstructed conventions.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Beyond the Human Voice: Francis Poulenc's Psychological Drama La Voix humaine (1958)

Beyond the Human Voice: Francis Poulenc's Psychological Drama La Voix humaine (1958)

Date: May 2000
Creator: Beard, Cynthia C.
Description: Francis Poulenc's one-character opera La Voix humaine (1958), a setting of the homonymous play by Jean Cocteau, explores the psychological complexities of an unnamed woman as she experiences the end of a romantic relationship. During the forty-minute work, she sings in a declamatory manner into a telephone, which serves as a sign of the unrevealed man at the other end. Poulenc uses musical motives to underscore the woman's changing emotional states as she recalls her past relationship. The musical dramaturgy in this work resignifies Debussy's impressionist symbolism by collapsing devices used in Pelléas et Mélisande in a language that shifts between octatonicism, chromaticism, harmonic and melodic whole tone passages, and diatonicism. This late work recontextualizes elements in Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites (1953-56), and the end of the opera provides a theme for his Sonate pour Clarinet et Piano(1962), as Poulenc reflects on his youthful encounters with Cocteau, Erik Satie, and Les Six.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Nobody's Fool: A Study of the Yrodivy in Boris Godunov

Nobody's Fool: A Study of the Yrodivy in Boris Godunov

Date: December 1999
Creator: Pollard, Carol J.
Description: Modest Musorgsky completed two versions of his opera Boris Godunov between 1869 and 1874, with significant changes in the second version. The second version adds a concluding lament by the fool character that serves as a warning to the people of Russia beyond the scope of the opera. The use of a fool is significant in Russian history and this connection is made between the opera and other arts of nineteenth-century Russia. These changes are, musically, rather small, but historically and socially, significant. The importance of the people as a functioning character in the opera has precedence in art and literature in Russia in the second half of the nineteenth-century and is related to the Populist movement. Most importantly, the change in endings between the two versions alters the entire meaning of the composition. This study suggests that this is a political statement on the part of the composer.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
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