Reconfiguring Myth and Narrative in Contemporary Opera

Reconfiguring Myth and Narrative in Contemporary Opera

Osvaldo Golijov, Kaija Saariaho, John Adams, and Tan Dun
Yayoi Uno Everett
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 11/30/2015
ISBN: 978-0-253-01805-2
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Description

Yayoi Uno Everett focuses on four operas that helped shape the careers of the composers Osvaldo Golijov, Kaija Saariaho, John Adams, and Tan Dun, which represent a unique encounter of music and production through what Everett calls "multimodal narrative." Aspects of production design, the mechanics of stagecraft, and their interaction with music and sung texts contribute significantly to the semiotics of operatic storytelling. Everett's study draws on Northrop Frye's theories of myth, Lacanian psychoanalysis via Slavoj Žižek, Linda and Michael Hutcheon's notion of production, and musical semiotics found in Robert Hatten's concept of troping in order to provide original interpretive models for conceptualizing new operatic narratives.

Author Bio

Yayoi Uno Everett is Professor of Music at University of Illinois at Chicago and author of Music of Louis Andriessen.

Reviews

“Yayoi Uno Everett focuses on four operas that helped shape the careers of the composers Osvaldo Golijov, Kaija Saariaho, John Adams, and Tan Dun, which represent a unique encounter of music and production through what Everett calls "multimodal narrative."”

“Treats cutting-edge music with a sophisticated theoretical approach, presenting innovative ways of reading operatic narrative and music dramaturgy that will inform the best opera analysis available today. ”
 — Andrew Davis, author of Il Trittico, Turandot, and Puccini's Late Style

“[O]ne of the most satisfying aspects of Reconfiguring Myth is Everett’s sensitive attention to the way different productions articulate an opera as historical drama, allegory, and myth; such case studies set a new standard in our understanding of contemporary opera as not only a multi-dimensional, but also a constantly changing theatrical experience.”
 — Music and Letters

“In the last 20 years, scholarly research on opera has encompassed cultural, media, gender, psychoanalytic, and literary theories. With this book, Everett makes an important, impressive contribution to that scholarship. . . . Highly recommended.”
 — Choice

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations
1. Toward a Multimodal Discourse on Opera
2. Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar: A Myth of "Wounded" Freedom
3. Kaija Saariaho’s Adriana Mater: A Narrative of Trauma and Ambivalence
4. John Adams’ Doctor Atomic: A Faustian Parable for the Modern Age?
5. The Anti-hero in Tan Dun’s The First Emperor
Epilogue: Opera as Myth in the Global Age
Glossary
Notes
Bibliography
Index