Opera In The Media Age by Paul Fryer


4756cb0d3c6ea05.jpg Author Paul Fryer
Isbn 9780786473298
File size 1.8 MB
Year 2014
Pages 264
Language English
File format PDF
Category art



 

OPERA IN THE MEDIA AGE This page intentionally left blank OPERA IN THE MEDIA AGE Essays on Art, Technology and Popular Culture Edited by Paul Fryer McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers Jefferson, North Carolina ALSO BY PAUL FRYER AND FROM MCFARLAND The Opera Singer and the Silent Film (2005) BY PAUL FRYER AND OLGA USOVA Lina Cavalieri: The Life of Opera’s Greatest Beauty, 1874–1944 (2004) EDITED BY PAUL FRYER Women in the Arts in the Belle Epoque: Essays on Influential Artists, Writers and Performers (2012) LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGUING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA Opera in the media age : essays on art, technology and popular culture / edited by Paul Fryer. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-0-7864-7329-8 (softcover : acid free paper) ISBN 978-1-4766-1620-9 (ebook) ♾ 1. Opera. 2. Mass media and music. 3. Music and technology. 4. Music—Social aspects—History. I. Fryer, Paul, 1955– editor of compilation. ML3858.O54 2014 792.502—dc23 BRITISH LIBRARY 2014013477 CATALOGUING DATA ARE AVAILABLE © 2014 Paul Fryer. All rights reserved No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying or recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. On the cover: Tod Machover’s modern opera Death and the Powers © Jonathan Williams Printed in the United States of America McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers Box 611, Jefferson, North Carolina 28640 www.mcfarlandpub.com To those who ask the questions… This page intentionally left blank Table of Contents Introduction 1 The Business of Opera: Opera, Advertising and the Return to Popular Culture Paul Fryer 7 Making Culture Popular: Opera and the Media Industries Sam O’Connell 32 Opera Criticism: State of the Art and Beyond Daniel Meyer-Dinkgräfe 43 Gods and Heroes or Monsters of the Media? Trevor Siemens 65 Opera and the Audio Recording Industry Robert Cannon 89 Opera Singers as Pop Stars: Opera Within the Popular Music Industry Christopher Newell and George Newell 116 Cross-Cuts and Arias: The Language of Film and Its Impact on Opera Kevin Stephens 149 Opera on Optical Video Disc, or the Latest (and Final?) Avatar of the Gesamtkunstwerk Pierre Bellemare 173 Wunderkammer: Light as a Scenographic and Dramaturgical Tool in Opera Hansjörg Schmidt 198 vii viii Table of Contents Opera, Art and Industrial Production: Lighting at the Royal Opera House, London Nick Hunt 212 After The Twilight of the Gods: Opera Experiments, New Media and the Opera of the Future Michael Earley 229 About the Contributors 249 Index 251 Introduction The genesis of this collection of essays, which explore the relationship between opera and aspects of the media of the later twentieth and early twentyfirst centuries, lies in a casual comment made to me by a student after I had given an introductory lecture on opera as a feature of contemporary culture. Half-jokingly the student commented on the way in which even opera, which he considered to be a decidedly “high art” form, had now, through wider popularization become fair game for the advertising industry. Ignoring the fact that the barrel organ players of Victorian England would regularly grind out tunes from the latest opera success on the street corners of London from the mid–nineteenth century onwards, the point was made that it was now possible for a member of the casual television audience to get to know quite a large number of opera “tunes” simply by watching the commercials aired in the breaks between one television program and the next. In many ways this is not in the least surprising. The classical repertoire contains just as many good tunes as its popular counterpart. Why should it not be mined in the same way? After all, this was a repertoire which already enjoyed a wider popular recognition. Many opera and classical themes already enjoyed wider familiarity from being adapted for the pop or easy listening market: Bach, brilliantly reconceived by the jazz pianist and composer Jacques Loussier, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Debussy, and, perhaps the most banal (or inventive depending on your viewpoint) example of all, Eduardo di Capua’s “O Sole Mio” (1898), used on British television to advertise a popular ice cream, with Giovanni Capurro’s Neapolitan lyrics substituted by the more product-friendly phrase “Just one Cornetto, give it to me.”1 The British newspaper The Daily Mail recently described this as “the catchiest advertising jingle of all time,” achieving 45 percent of a popular vote.2 Familiarity itself proved not always to be the deciding factor in this success story. When the Fiat car company utilized the well-known aria “Largo al Factotum” as a soundtrack for the promotion of its new Strada model in 1979 (one of the longest-running and most memorable television advertising campaigns ever mounted by the automobile industry), the success of the campaign 1 2 Introduction relied largely on the popularity and familiarity of Rossini’s original tune. However, some of the most interesting and successful campaigns which followed charted much less familiar territory. In 1993, Nike, surely one of the world’s most recognizable contemporary brands, commissioned three commercials from their advertising agency, Wieden and Kennedy, in the form of thirty-second mini-operas, designed to promote the Air Max brand primarily to the European market: the first of these, “Barkley of Seville,” which featured basketball star player Charles Barkley, offered a parody of baroque opera written by U.S. composer Randall Davidson, sung in Italian with English subtitles. It was followed by “The Magic Shoe” (with music borrowed from Tchaikovsky), which featured pole-vaulter Sergei Bubka, and “Don Quincy” (borrowing heavily from Bizet) with the then world 400 meter record holder, Quincy Watts.3 Barkley’s short film, first aired in 1993, subsequently gained cult status with a number of opera and sports fans alike. Linking the mainstream and highly commercial international sports goods markets with opera may seem unlikely enough, but this was not by any means the most unusual example to emerge. In 1989, British Airways commissioned a new television advertising campaign from the agency Saatchi and Saatchi, which launched a new slogan, “The World’s Favourite Airline.” They were set the task of finding suitable music, and came up with “The Flower Duet” (“Sous le dôme épais ”) from the largely forgotten nineteenth century French opera Lakme by Léo Delibes.4 The popularity of the stylish new commercial was matched only by that of the music. British Airways’ customer service lines were bombarded with enquiries about the identity of the music, most of which they later stated, coming from people who had no idea that the tune had operatic origins. Other than the popular “Bell Song,” a much favored encore aria popularized by singers such as Lily Pons, much of Delibes’ score had been virtually forgotten until its adoption by the advertising industry. The opera had previously been known largely to modern audiences through a complete stereo recording made for London/Decca by the late Joan Sutherland and released in 1968. Now, however, a plethora of recordings flooded the market, made by both classical and cross-over artists, including Lesley Garratt and Katherine Jenkins. The aria, which has been described as Delibes’ “hit single,” has also featured in the soundtrack of several popular movies, including Tony Scott’s The Hunger (1993) and in 1998, EMI released a new complete recording of the opera, featuring the popular French soprano Natalie Dessay. The Sound Agency, a company which specializes in the use of music and sound in achieving effective branding for companies and products, gives the British Airways use of “The Flower Duet” as a prime example of the impact of music in establishing brand recognition. Their website states that “research Introduction 3 shows that advertising sound is very powerful, and we know that brands are enhanced by consistency.”5 In 2007, British Airways withdrew all of their television advertising, largely as a response to the downturn in international air travel. However, when they returned to the TV advertising arena with a new campaign in September 2009, this time designed by agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty, they once again utilized arrangements of Delibes’ now universally popular tune, which had become indissolubly linked with the BA brand in the public imagination. Examples of opera used in advertising are far too numerous to list individually in this introduction: In the United States, Kentucky Fried Chicken made good use of the Prelude to Bizet’s Carmen, and Aquafresh utilized Ponchielli’s “Dance of the Hours ” from La Giaconda. Television audiences in Europe have enjoyed or endured Offenbach to promote Audi cars, Dvořák for bathroom cleaner, and Verdi for frozen pizza. The interest extends of course from the operas themselves to those who perform them. From the earliest examples of the names and images of opera stars utilized to sell even the most mundane of products advertising has shown a consistent interest in the operatic star as a marketing tool. Jenny Lind, renowned as the Swedish Nightingale, and a phenomenally popular performer, introduced the notion of merchandising by licensing her image to appear on matchboxes, pocket handkerchiefs, soap and perfume, and even promoted a Jenny Lind candle-snuffer in the shape of her body topped with the head of a nightingale. Contemporary consumers have been exposed to the sophisticated images and personas of Renée Fleming and Placido Domingo advertising Rolex watches, and Katherine Jenkins promoting Mont Blanc pens, in up-market magazine ads. Today, U.K. television audiences may wince when the comedic figure of the “Go Compare” tenor, played by the real-life opera singer Wynne Evans, perpetuating every possible operatic cliché, encourages us to purchase our insurance via a price comparison website, however, the image of Enrico Caruso promoting dress shirts and evening attire lies in our not so distant past. Artists such as Mary Garden, Geraldine Farrar and Lina Cavalieri endorsed and promoted a range of goods from gramophones and gramophone records to soap, face-cream and perfume—and even the tobacco industry thrived by association with opera performers as recently as the 1950s. The Camel brand ran an entire series of full-page color press advertisements featuring stars from the New York Metropolitan Opera, including Dorothy Kirsten, Risë Stevens, Patrice Munsel, Eleanor Steber, Richard Crooks and Ezio Pinza, each endorsing their product. Earlier generations had witnessed exactly the same form of brand association with Enrico Caruso (American Tobacco Co., 1915), Clarence Whitehill (Lucky Strike, 1927), Lawrence Tibbett (Old Gold, 1930), and Elizabeth Rethberg (Lucky Strike, 1937). 4 Introduction Advertising, however, provides us with only one example to support the fact that since the very beginning of the media age,6 opera has enjoyed and occasionally tolerated a fascinating symbiotic relationship with the media. Some of the earliest major contributors to the audio recording, moving picture and radio broadcasting industries, opera stars also played a significant role in the development of the “star structure” that has always been a central pillar of the entertainment industries, especially the Hollywood movie industry which they helped to create. Throughout the twentieth and into the twenty-first centuries, the media have enabled opera (earlier considered a “popular” art form) to move from its later position as “high art” and “elitist” back to a form of accessible, popular culture—via the movies, audio and video recordings, television and radio broadcasts, and press and television advertising. And also through opera’s use of contemporary media technology in both live and recorded performances. As our attitude towards opera has shifted, so too has opera itself in the way in which it is written, performed, staged and marketed. The Three Tenors phenomenon, which began with a gala concert in Rome to mark the FIFA World Cup final in 1990, and continued for more than a decade, was simply part of a much wider shift in attitude, largely enabled by opera’s engagement with the available media. Contemporary media developments have also had a significant effect on how audiences witness opera in “live” performance. Starting in the 2006/7 season, the Metropolitan Opera New York, in an effort to generate additional sources of income and to build new audiences, began to broadcast live performances by satellite to movie theatres, in High Definition. So successful has this proved that the company recently announced that they had sold more than ten million tickets to these screenings worldwide, thereby vastly increasing the number of people able to see each production. The company has stated that their aim is to “reach existing audiences and to introduce new audiences to opera through new technology.” In this, they are not alone. In the summer of 2013, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, sponsored by BP, broadcast live performances to big screens in 27 locations across the United Kingdom. This collection of essays will demonstrate that such developments are part of an ongoing progression that has been taking place for more than a century—that the recording of operatic arias on gramophone records, the filming of opera extracts on silent or synchronized sound film, the broadcast of radio signals live from the stages of opera houses—have exploited the newest technology of the time, have widened access to a global audience, and have changed the way in which we experience opera. The writers who have contributed to this collection have freely interpreted the notion of contemporary “media.” Therefore, as well as exploring Introduction 5 opera as a contemporary art form, we examine the relationship between opera and advertising, opera and popular culture and opera and the audio recording industry. We have included two essays which explore opera’s relationship to aspects of performance technology in the form of lighting and, in Nick Hunt’s description, “industrial production.” We further explore the role of contemporary opera as a feature of twenty-first century culture, the role played by the contemporary critic, opera’s relationship with the popular music industry, and the influence on and of opera in the burgeoning video disc market and the movie industry. Marshall McLuhan’s assertion that the modern media should be recognized as an art form in itself and therefore placed in the hands of artists who would understand how best to use it7 clearly recognized a link which both new and established (historical) art forms and artists could exploit just as effectively—as well as being exploited by. Of all existing art forms, it is perhaps opera, which unifies music, text, drama, scenography and technology in its realization, and which has proved equally as successful and influential in so many different aspects of the modern media, which still continues to provide us with the some of the greatest challenges, triumphs and occasional disasters of the media age. Notes 1. Cornetto was a popular ice cream cone, sold by the Walls Company in the United Kingdom, now owned by Unilever. The tune was adapted for a highly successful television advertising campaign starting in 1983 and running for ten years. The campaign was revived in 2006. 2. “Just One Cornetto … Hum It to Me: Britain’s Catchiest Advertising Tunes Revealed,” The Daily Mail, 13 June 2012. 3. Matthew Grim, “Nike Spends a Hard Day’s Night at the Euro Opera,” Adweek, 1 February 1993. 4. Delibes’ work had premiered at the Opera Comique in Paris in 1883, set in British colonial India. The duet, sung by Lakme and her servant Malika, is in the first act of the opera. 5. “Brandsound Revealed,” The Sound Agency, www.thesoundagency.com. Accessed on 28 May 2013. 6. Establishing a suitable date for this is difficult, but for the purposes of this collection we will settle upon 1895: being the year in which gramophone recoding and moving pictures both achieved commercial viability. 7. Marshall McLuhan, Counterblast (Toronto, 1954; re-published by Gingko, 2011). Bibliography “Brandsound Revealed.” The Sound Agency, www.thesoundagency.com. Accessed 28 May 2013. 6 Introduction Grim, Matthew. “Nike Spends a Hard Day’s Night at the Euro Opera.” Adweek, 1 February 1993. Ind, Nicholas. Great Advertising Campaigns. London: Kogan Page, 1993. “Just One Cornetto … Hum it to Me: Britain’s Catchiest Advertising Tunes Revealed.” The Daily Mail, London, 13 June 2012. Martorella, Rosanne. The Sociology of Opera. New York: Praeger, 1982. McLuhan, Marshall. Counterblast. Berkeley: Gingko, 2011. First published 1954. O’Reilly, Daragh, and Finola Kerrigan. Marketing the Arts: A Fresh Approach. London: Routledge, 2010. The Business of Opera: Opera, Advertising and the Return to Popular Culture Paul Fryer During the first decade of the twenty-first century it appeared that the popularity of opera was, once again, on the decline. In many places this was marked by a significant reduction in funding, closure of several opera companies while others introduced major cost-saving measures, popular works and revivals dominated the repertoire of most large-scale companies. While the average age of opera attendees reached the mid–50s and the youth market, dominated by the download and social media culture, appeared to show no interest whatsoever in the art-form, Mark Moorman, then the New York City Opera’s Manager of Institutional Gifts, was quoted as saying, “We are like a museum preserving ancient music for ancient people.”1 At the time, NYCO’s ticket sales had dropped to an average of 60 percent capacity, in spite of a major popularization program under the slogan “Opera for Everyone,” reducing ticket prices and offering half-price tickets for students. In October 2013, the New York City Opera announced that it has been forced to close. The company, founded in 1943, had made it public knowledge that there was a $7 million deficit. George Steel, artistic director, was quoted in The New York Times: “New York City Opera did not achieve the goal of its emergency appeal, and the board and management will begin the necessary financial and operational steps to wind down the company.”2 The company’s final performance, given at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, was Anna Nicole, by Mark-Anthony Turnage, an example of the valuable work that the company has done to promote and popularize contemporary opera. The American baritone Sherrill Milnes who had started his career with NYCO in the early 1960s acknowledged this, telling The Wall Street Journal, “It’s a huge blow, not just for the American composer, but for modern composers worldwide.”3 7 8 Opera in the Media Age Alex Ross, writing in The New Yorker, stated that, “the quality of operatic programming and production in New York has lately plummeted, to the point where the city may no longer qualify as a pace-setting opera capital. The Met still puts on big, starry shows, with hundreds of gifted people laboring behind the scenes to bring them to life. But one staging after another has failed to catch fire, and the most ambitious undertaking of the Gelb era, Robert Lepage’s production of Wagner’s “Ring,” is a very damp squib.”4 After noting that any real artistic development in opera is being made in London, certain European houses or by regional American companies, Ross concludes that “although the economic crisis has taken its toll, the problem is less a lack of money than a lack of intellectual vitality” (Ross, Diminuendo). It might reasonably be argued of course, that in the case of opera, the most expensive of all live art-forms, you cannot have one without the other. We have been here before, of course. The principal players may have new identities, but the game remains largely the same: can opera survive in contemporary popular culture? The 1980s and ’90s witnessed a remarkable rise in the popularity of opera, in which an art-form, widely and traditionally perceived as elitist was seen to transform into an entertainment available to be enjoyed by everyone. But this development raised a number of important questions: was it really possible for an art form such as opera to achieve such a wide-spread, catholic popularity or was this simply the result of a highly effective marketing campaign, the effects of which would fade over the succeeding decades? Was this development consumer-led or market-led, and what effect would popularization have upon opera as a quality product? Did this popularization result in the creation and nurturing of a whole new generation of sophisticated opera-goers or rather in the reduction of a complex art-form to a series of easily digested lowest common denominators, and if this was the case, could serious opera production ever recover from the damage that might be inflicted by a pop opera culture? The period in question certainly showed that opera could become a major business concern, and make substantial profits, but did this mean that opera would be able to pay for itself in the future? Or, conversely, would we face the prospect of being left only with box-office certainties, endlessly revived, opera spectaculars and rock-star style concerts amplified to fill huge auditoria, high on volume, but low on content? A higher level of promotion which borrowed liberally from the popular end of the music industry might lead to mass audiences, but instead of encouraging the development of a living art-form, the trend of economic influence, driven by enhanced marketing, could just as easily lead us into a future in which serious and challenging works, which could not be made to pay for themselves, would only be found in audio or The Business (Fryer) 9 video recordings, made for a restricted specialist market. Therefore, the process that would gradually eliminate aspects of elitism in opera, could just as easily result in the imposition of a new form of reverse cultural elitism, which might prove to be far more damaging than the socially imposed restrictions of the past. Amongst these questions however, there is no doubt that the media—in this case in the form of commercial audio and video recording, television and radio broadcasting—and advertising were to be the principal contributors. In the spring of 1986, when the current economic downturn seemed like a very remote prospect for many people, John Whitley reported in The Sunday Times (London) on what he categorized as “The new craze for opera… a revolutionary bid to revive a popular art form.”5 In fact Whitley was a little late in heralding this since the revolution which was to transform opera into a “boom industry” had already occurred, becoming, as Luke Rittner, then secretary general of the Arts Council in the United Kingdom, said, “very much more a part of people’s daily lives than we would have dreamed of, ten or fifteen years ago.”6 As the journalist Gilbert Adair noted: “Alongside such art forms as comic books, rock promos, TV commercials and Arnold Schwarzenegger movies … incredibly dumb affairs during which the soprano, baritone and tenor sing a jolly little trio before stabbing each other to death”7 suddenly acquired popular and commercial appeal to rival any marketing agency’s wildest dreams. In 1755, the Venetian scholar, philosopher and critic Francesco Algarotti described opera as having “fallen from heaven upon the earth, and being divorced from an intercourse with gods, to have humbly resigned itself to that of mortals.”8 In terms at once both more prosaic and more appropriate to our own decade, this heavenly art-form now took on the decidedly earthly attributes of a profitable business enterprise, ripe for exploitation and fuelled by a trend of popularity. And as the 1980s progressed the trend spread across Europe, resulting in elaborate plans to build new opera houses in Paris (Opera Bastille, 1989), Amsterdam (De Nederlandse Opera, 1986) and Essen (Aalto Musiktheater, 1988), at a cost then estimated to be around £217 million. Farther afield, in Manaus, Brazil, the legendary Teatro Amazonas, which had first opened in 1896, but had been closed for over 80 years, now re-opened after a three-year restoration at a cost of $8 million. The wider European tradition of opera performances might be expected to easily support such extravagant investment, but what about the United Kingdom, where, as John Whitley bluntly stated, “opera is normally equated with snobs, foreigners and stout prima donnas” (Whitley, The New Craze for Opera). Britain’s conversion however seemed secure, with performances on 10 Opera in the Media Age the increase, and more companies than ever before being formed to meet the growing demand. At the height of the trend, Policy Studies Institute reports revealed that between 1984 and 1989, the number of performances given by the major subsidized opera companies in the United Kingdom rose from 706 to 747; the number of seats sold rose from 985,745 to 1,174,417, and the average attendance from 78 percent to 85 percent. By 1989, English National Opera attendances had reached an average capacity of 87 percent, and the Royal Opera House, 90 percent.9 A supplementary survey published in 1990 revealed even more encouraging statistics; Glyndebourne Touring Opera played to 97 percent capacity audiences, Opera North in Leeds reached 87 percent and Scottish Opera on tour, 92 percent. But quantity seemed to have very little effect on either quality or, more crucially variety. It might have been hoped that such an increase in revenue might lead to a comparable investment in new or more challenging repertoire. There is virtually no evidence however that this took place. A popularity chart provided by Welsh National Opera to supplement the 1990 survey shows that the three most popular operas were, predictably perhaps, La Traviata, La Bohème and Le Nozze di Figaro. Tom Sutcliffe, then opera critic of The Guardian (London), reached the regretful conclusion that “there is no evidence that difficult or challenging work is reaching a wider audience … without a genuine extension of public interest based on a real exploration of the market.”10 The ’80s boom was not to last. By the spring of 1993, when the United Kingdom government issued fresh assurances that recession was coming to an end, the arts pages in the U.K. press had already begun to toll the death knell for this great operatic renaissance. The distinguished British tenor, Robert Tear, expressed the belief that the only way in which this operatic rebirth could be sustained, was for opera companies to provide a complete diet of La Bohème and La Traviata—a kind of operatic Top 20—perpetuating a culture based upon easily digestible highlights. Hardly a recipe for sustaining artistic growth. The notion that the correct way to fuel the opera boom of the late ’80s so as to project it through to the millennium was to provide the public with either more of the same, or thinly disguised reworkings of that repertoire proved fruitless. Alex Ross’s response to the current offer of the Metropolitan Opera referred to earlier, suggests that little has changed in the last 20 years. In the nineteenth century, opera was the great popular art form. In the early years of the twentieth century, Enrico Caruso became the very first recording artist to sell one million discs with a rendering of the aria “Vesti la giubba” from Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, recorded in 1902, only 20 years after the opera had first been produced, and the tune itself was very well-known. Opera was solidly linked to popular culture. Operatic music, played in a wide variety The Business (Fryer) 11 of settings and arrangements, was one major source of the popular music of the time. But writing in 1992, Geoffrey Wheatcroft drew an important parallel: “good or bad, pop music is living music. But the huge explosion in opera audiences is an audience for a dead, or at least dying genre.… There have been remarkable achievements in opera in the last fifty years, but numbers from Peter Maxwell Davies’s operas are never going to be whistled by taxi drivers; nor, I suspect, did our lads in the Gulf sing Harrison Birtwhistle’s greatest hits to keep their spirits up.”11 But, to return to a question posed in the opening paragraph of this essay, was the burgeoning popularity of opera in the decade between the 1980s and ’90s consumer-led or market-led? If the latter, then how had this come about. What part had media and marketing played in the great enterprise, and, assuming that opera’s future may be as uncertain as it’s past, what can we learn from this? Opera’s incursion into the popular media of the twentieth century is most easily noted by its use in cinema. Long before Jean-Jacques Beineix re-awakened interest in a half-forgotten opera by Catalani by his use of the aria “Ebben? Ne andro lontano” from La Wally, in his 1981 film Diva, “serious” music had been widely used as incidental music in films. There are many examples; Brief Encounter (David Lean, 1945), Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941), The Lost Weekend (Billy Wilder, 1945), et al. Along with a rash of operatic films, including work by Ingmar Bergman, Joseph Losey, Franco Zeffirelli, Luigi Comencini and Francesco Rosi, which served to keep opera in the public’s eye, in one of the most easily accessible media formats. One particularly acute example specifically links opera with money and the media. Oliver Stone’s 1987 film, Wall Street, is a powerful indictment of materialism in 1980s America, personified in the amoral monetarism of New York City stock dealers. A young broker played by Charlie Sheen, motivated by greed and misplaced admiration for Michael Douglas’s high-flying financial master-mind, is inveigled into illegal share-dealing, for which eventually he pays the price. We see Sheen’s character gain financial advantage and social status as he is drawn further into the crooked dealings of his hero. He acquires a beautiful woman, a designer penthouse, and, to complete this material perfection, a sudden love of opera. As the camera pans around his new apartment for the first time, the music that we hear playing on an expensive audio system is Verdi’s aria “Di Quella Pira” from Rigoletto. Whereas is an earlier era, Sheen’s character might have taken to listening to the Modern Jazz Quartet, a Bach cello sonata or a Mahler symphony, in the material mid–’80s the most easily assimilated musical under-scoring of his new-found wealth and status (and perhaps his attitude as well), is opera. Stone correctly assumed that audiences would equate opera with a certain

Author Paul Fryer Isbn 9780786473298 File size 1.8 MB Year 2014 Pages 264 Language English File format PDF Category Art Book Description: FacebookTwitterGoogle+TumblrDiggMySpaceShare This collection of essays explores the relationship between opera and the development of media technology from the late 19th to the early 21st century. Taking an international perspective, the contributing authors, each with extensive experience as scholars or practitioners of the art, cover a variety of topics including audio, video and film recording, contemporary critical responses, popular and “high brow” culture, live and recorded performance, lighting and performance technology, media marketing and advertising.     Download (1.8 MB) Envisioning Dance on Film and Video Experimental Film and Video: An Anthology The End of Cinema?: A Medium in Crisis in the Digital Age Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen Virilio And Visual Culture Load more posts

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