What happens to opera when it’s presented on the screen? How does an opera change when it becomes a movie, a television presentation, or a video? This book is the first to explore opera and its treatment on the screen from a musicologist’s perspective. Marcia Citron provides a fascinating history of the nearly 100-year-old genre, examines landmark works of opera on screen from a variety of viewpoints, and shows how different electronic media shape the conception of this art form.
The book begins with a comprehensive survey of the origins and development of screen opera. Citron then focuses on such significant works as Franco Zeffirelli’s Otello, Francesco Rosi’s Bizet’s Carmen, Joseph Losey’s Don Giovanni, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s Tales of Hoffmann, Hans-Jürgen Syberberg’s Parsifal, Peter Sellars’s four opera productions for television, and the celebrated relay telecast of Otello fromthe Royal Opera House in London. The author draws on ideas from diverse fields, including media studies and gender studies, to examine issues ranging from the relationship between sound and image to the place of the viewer in relation to the spectacle. As she raises questions about divisions between high art and popular art and about the tensions between live and reproduced art forms, Citron reveals how screen treatments reinforce opera’s vitality in a media-intensive age.
Marcia J. Citron is professor and chair of musicology, and Martha and Henry Lovett Distinguished Service Professor at Rice University. She is the author of the acclaimed book Gender and the Musical Canon.
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