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A Contemporary Application of Boris Goldovsky’s Method for Training the Operatic Singer-actor: a Model for Today’s University Opera Workshop Instructor

Description: Throughout the twentieth century, Boris Goldovsky (1908-2001) played a significant role in training the operatic singer-actor. One of his most significant contributions was integrating music and drama. He taught his students how to develop a character, how to find dramatic clues in the music, and to become expressive artists free from monotonous operatic gestures and posturing. As author of the first textbook for training the operatic singer-actor, his curriculum was developed from experience, acting traditions, and mentor-student relationships. A new forum, Opera Workshop, allowed him to experiment and test his methods. Although Goldovsky is known to some scholars as the “Father of Training the Operatic Singer-Actor,” his presence in modern day training material is almost non-existent. How can we understand the needs of educating today’s operatic singer-actor without knowing the very foundation upon which it was built? This paper applies Goldovsky’s method of training to a staging and performance of Act II scene I from Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel. Providing this modern application of his training will demonstrate the relevance of his contributions for educators in a contemporary university setting. My findings suggest that Goldovsky’s approach and philosophy to training the young singer-actor provides practical and valuable knowledge that is still viable for today’s university singer-actor educator.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Glidden, Jennifer

Singing in English in the 21St Century: a StudyComparing and Applying the Tenets of Madeleine Marshall and Kathryn Labouff

Description: The English diction texts by Madeleine Marshall and Kathryn LaBouff are two ofthe most acclaimed manuals on singing in this language. Differences in style between the two have separated proponents to be primarily devoted to one or the other. An in-depth study, comparing the precepts of both authors, and applying their principles, has resulted in an understanding of their common ground, as well as the need for the more comprehensive information, included by LaBouff, on singing in the dialect of American Standard, and changes in current Received Pronunciation, for British works, and Mid-Atlantic dialect, for English language works not specifically North American or British. Chapter 1 introduces Marshall and The Singer’s Manual of English Diction, and LaBouff and Singing and Communicating in English. An overview of selected works from Opera America’s resources exemplifies the need for three dialects in standardized English training. Chapter 2 reviews notational and diction resources, and use of the International Phonetic Association’s alphabet (IPA). Chapter 3 directly compares Marshall and LaBouff’s views of the importance of the unstressed syllable, often schwa [ә] or open I [ɪ], as vital to allowing the audience to understand the flow of the sung text, and contrasts their differences regarding < r >. Chapter 4 discusses observations in applying the tenets with singers, focusing on three arias coached for this dissertation. Chapter 5 states conclusions and opportunities for further research. Figures include materials from the Juilliard School Archives. Appendices include interviews.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Reikofski, Helen Dewey