Opera Essay Questions

Question 1:
How have opera directors negotiated the issue of fidelity in their staging? Choose three productions of one opera and discuss how the different productions (staged or cinematic) change or complicate the opera’s meaning. Be sure to provide specific points of comparison from all three productions.

Quotation:

“Every work is a proposition, and no more than a proposition; and this is particularly true of any work conceived for the theatre, and therefore linked to the ephemeral at its most elusive. . . Is there such a thing as fidelity? And, if so, fidelity to what? To a historical truth? Or an absolute truth? . . . The important—no, the essential thing in the theatre, as in every other art form, is the actual grafting, the new creation sparked off by the proposition inherent in the origin. This grafting of one man’s idea, one man’s attitude on to another’s produces amazingly rich results.” [Pierre Boulez, “Lulu; A Short Postscript on Fidelity,” in Orientations, J-J. Nattiez, ed. and Martin Cooper, trans., 1986, p. 398]

Opera Essay Questions

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