On February 16th, 2013, three Graduate Center scholars will be presenting papers at the AMS Greater New York Chapter winter meeting:
Professor Emeritus Dr. Barbara Hanning will be presenting “Powerless Spirit: Echo on the Musical Stage of the Late Renaissance”, doctoral student in music theory Ji Yeon Lee will be presenting “Critical Reflections on Robert Lepage’s Staging of Wagner’s Ring Cycle At the Metropolitan Opera”, and doctoral student in musicology Jennifer Jones-Wilson will be presenting “The New Tenor in the New World: Opera glasses, Ear trumpets, and “la voix de poitrine”.
For more information about the meeting, please see the ANSGNY website: http://ams-gny-meetings.blogspot.com/
Dr. Barbara Hanning
Powerless Spirit: Echo on the Musical Stage of the Late Renaissance
“Powerless Spirit” explores the role of Echo as a literary trope and theatrical device on the musical stage of the late Italian Renaissance and in early opera. Examples are drawn from works by Jacopo Peri and Claudio Monteverdi, among others.
The New Tenor in the New World: Opera glasses, Ear trumpets, and “la voix de poitrine.”
When the New Orleans French Opera Company returned to New York City in 1845, it presented a landmark season, which not only introduced a new style of singing, but also premiered many _grands opéras_, stirring a debate between pro-Italian opera aficionados and the proponents of French opera. The arrival of tenor Gabriel Arnaud (1814?-?), who used a new vocal technique, caused a dynamic exchange within the New York press. He appears to have been the earliest tenor in the city’s history to use “la voix de poitrine” in his upper register and to employ the dramatic and powerful high C. This paper traces the reception of Arnaud and the opera company through the lively altercation between two New York dailies, the French-language _Courrier des États-Unis_ and the _Evening Gazette_.
Ji Yeon Lee
Critical Reflections on Robert Lepage’s Staging of Wagner’s Ring Cycle At the Metropolitan Opera
From its premiere over the 2010-12 seasons, Robert Lepage’s technology-driven staging of the Ring at the Metropolitan Opera has engendered fierce debate among critics. Despite some positive reviews, published critical reactions have been far more negative: generally speaking, the theatrical coup created by 24 movable planks, dubbed ‘the machine,’ is considered dramatically unsuccessful, distracting and ineffective. It creates intrusive noise during musically quiet moments, dwarfs the singers, raises safety issues, and is far less helpful acoustically than opera sets should be. Even worse is the absence of story, as the director overlooks a nuanced reading of Wagner’s Weltanschauungsmusik in focusing on the visual spectacle. In face of such complicated torrents of opinion on Lepage’s Ring production, the paper aims primarily to examine the multiple conflicts surrounding his stagecraft in both philosophical and aesthetic dimensions.