Description: Sixteenth century commedia dell’arte actors relied on gaudy costumes, physical humor and improvisation to entertain audiences. the Spieltenor in the modern operatic repertoire has a similar comedic role. Would today’s Spieltenor benefit from consulting the commedia dell’arte’s traditions? to answer this question, I examine the commedia dell’arte’s history, stock characters and performance traditions of early troupes. the Spieltenor is discussed in terms of vocal pedagogy and the fach system. I reference critical studies of the commedia dell’arte, sources on improvisatory acting, articles on theatrical masks and costuming, the commedia dell’arte as depicted by visual artists, commedia dell’arte techniques of movement, stances and postures. in addition, I cite vocal pedagogy articles, operatic repertoire and sources on the fach system. My findings suggest that a valid relationship exists between the commedia dell’arte stock characters and the Spieltenor roles in the operatic repertoire. I present five case studies, pairing five stock characters with five Spieltenor roles. Suggestions are provided to enhance the visual, physical and dramatic elements of each role’s performance. I conclude that linking a commedia dell’arte stock character to any Spieltenor role on the basis of shared traits offers an untapped resource to create distinctive characterizations based on theatrical traditions.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Trahan, Corey
Item Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Partner: UNT Libraries