Perspectives on new opera making

Workshop: Movement/IMprovisation/Acting MAASTRICHT


The evolution of Opera Singing Art has led ustoday to a state of almost complete divorce between vocal tone and emotional expression. Whilst singers of the past were intent on mastering the arts of extending the different emotive qualities and characteristics of each tone and vowel, nowadays singers, as the music evolves into more concrete, dehumanized and electronic sounds, try more and more to master the perfection of a single operatic or lyric color of voice production, and to train to specialize in a single timbral quality.

Furthermore, the increasingly elaborate complexity of musical composition has led to a process of training operatic singers and other performers in a way which has become more and more concerned with technical demands of the singing and of the music, and less connected to the primal and primordial role of the voice as the expression of emotion, feeling and all the possible and different moods of human soul and experience. Indeed, it is common to find within a wide spectrum of contemporary vocal composition and opera literature, objectively or implicitly written, the idea of an instrumental use of the voice, i.e., the voice should simply provide one tone of a certain pitch in various intensities.

So, the purpose of this workshop is to ‘experiment’ with singers and other performers, through body movement, improvisation and the arousing of emotions methodologies a new approach to Opera and Opera making that clearly contradicts this line of dehumanized thought of music writing, which seemed to be the main stream of opera making over the last decades. This kind of ‘new acting’ through joint experimentation will enable the singers/performers to better connect themselves with their bodies and the bodies of the others, voices and emotions, as well as it will bring them a better understanding of what should be the meaning and the act of making new opera nowadays.

Portugal Telmo Marques and Carlos Azevedo Improvisation Workshop

Improvisation must be in the center of the artistic learning process in the musical context. Either, idiomatic or free improvisation, it means a real-time compositional process based on spontaneous creativity and a strong musical background working side by side in the performative practice

Our workshop aimed to create a totally improvised opera through a structured, multidisciplinary game, built on the characters of Alice in Wonderland – a classic of world literature.

Through a set of cards describing the personalities of each character, one card is distributed to each participant, who is only aware of his role. The personality description results in an identifier of function (singer, instrument, conductor, director, etc.), action (start, continue, develop, accompany) transformation (specific for directors and conductors) and content (music excerpts, text, etc.) – all directly related to the profile of each character in Alice.

In general, Improvised Opera begins spontaneously, with participants easily internalizing the role to play very actively, especially in the very first minutes. The weakest point is that, at the end of these first minutes, one can notice a kind of lack of meaning in the formal structure of the opera. We continue working on this valorization.

Next Post

Previous Post

© 2023 EOALAB

Theme by Anders Norén