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Contemporary opera in Britain, 1970-2010

Ferraro Jr., Mario (2011). Contemporary opera in Britain, 1970-2010. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)


This study of contemporary opera in Britain considers first, the theoretical aspects of the creation of an opera, then moves to a survey of British opera companies and their productions of modern opera over the past 40 years. There follows a detailed study of three works produced in Britain during this time, all of which are of particular significance to this composer: Maxwell Davies’s The Lighthouse, Saariaho’s L’amour de loin, and Birtwistle’s The Minotaur. The final chapter concerns the production of my own opera, The Moonflower (2011).

The study was informed by established theories about opera and its history; an examination of scores, libretti and programme booklets for some operas produced in Britain, 1970 – 2010; direct contact between the author and composers, co-creators, and the works themselves (including attendance at many recent operatic productions in London), and the analysis of excerpts from the three contemporary operas mentioned above, while investigation of opera companies active in the period aimed to identify some possible trends in programming.

The creation and performance of the author´s own opera was the culmination of this investigation; it illuminated many of the issues raised above, concerning the process of composing, designing and staging an operatic work in the early twenty-first century.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Departments: Doctoral Theses
School of Communication & Creativity > Performing Arts > Music
School of Communication & Creativity > School of Communication & Creativity Doctoral Theses
[thumbnail of Ferraro,_Mario_-_PhD_Thesis_2012.pdf]
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