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The production of a contemporary chamber opera (The boy who wasn't there)

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posted on 2022-03-28, 11:43 authored by May Catherine Howlett
From its origins as chamber opera just over four hundred years ago, Opera developed through the 18th and 19th centuries, in length and complexity, to attain the status of 'grand', a term that most people associate with opera to this day ... At the beginning of the 20th century, radical innovations in the arts influenced by movements such as the Bauhaus phenomenon, added to the aftermath of a world war that shattered existing socio-political structures and artistic sentiments turned from extroverted displays of grandeur to the creation of more cerebral, introverted styles. ... On the threshold of a new millennium, small, often experimental companies, passionately convinced of the relevance of, and excited by the artistic potential inherent in this revitalized form of opera, formed a loose consortium of creative artists internationally, similar in spirit to the original Camerata of the 16th century, making use of current technologies. Whether these newer works may be styled 'chamber opera' or 'music theatre', they represent a form in evolution, capable of further development into a new genre, a vital nexus of traditional skills applied to current issues, peculiarly suited to integration with electronic modes such as television.


Table of Contents

Introduction -- Historical background and literature review -- Structural and philosophic changes -- Chamber opera: a genre in evolution -- Chamber opera: its potential for the future -- The personal experiment -- Conclusion..


Bibliography: p. 138-141 A creative work and dissertation in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts (Research) Macquarie University, Division of Humanities, Dept. of Contemporary Music Studies. Dissertation, libretto and score of the opera.

Degree Type

Thesis masters research


Thesis (MA), Macquarie University (Division of Humanities, Dept. of Contemporary Music Studies)

Department, Centre or School

Department of Contemporary Music Studies

Year of Award



Copyright May Howlett 2005. Copyright disclaimer:






141 leaves music

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