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Flop!

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This thesis explores the various reasons that Broadway musicals fail, or "flop". It goes into detail on several musicals of different genres, and explains what their shortcomings were, whether it be a less-than-perfect book, a weak score, or a production

This thesis explores the various reasons that Broadway musicals fail, or "flop". It goes into detail on several musicals of different genres, and explains what their shortcomings were, whether it be a less-than-perfect book, a weak score, or a production team that was not experienced in the skills that it takes to put together a musical. It discusses how long the shows ran for, or if they ever made it into a Broadway house. It looks at what the audience reception was like for each show, and whether the shows were a success with the tough critics of Broadway. In addition to this, I have recorded several of my peers performing songs from the musicals I have discussed in the written portion of this thesis. This helps to educate an audience on what it would have been like for one of the flop's real performances. The videos also do a wonderful job of communicating what the show sounds like, and how it can make an audience feel or react. Lastly, it gives more insight into why the musicals they are from failed to thrive in front of a Broadway audience. Through my research, I have discovered that creating a musical is possibly one of the most difficult feats a team of creative people can accomplish. There are countless reasons for failure in these shows, but overall, I feel that every failure had something to offer, and because of that, are surely worth celebrating.

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Date Created
2018-05

Once On This Island - An Exploration of Nontraditional Casting

Description

Only in the world of acting can an individual be denied a job simply on the basis of their appearance, and in my thesis, I sought to explore alternatives to this through the concept of nontraditional casting and casting against

Only in the world of acting can an individual be denied a job simply on the basis of their appearance, and in my thesis, I sought to explore alternatives to this through the concept of nontraditional casting and casting against "type", which included the presentation of a full-length production of the musical "Once on this Island" which I attempted to cast based on vocal quality and skill alone rather than taking physical characteristics into account. I researched the history and implementation of nontraditional casting, both in regards to race and other factors such as gender, socio-economic status, and disability. I also considered the legal and intellectual property challenges that nontraditional casting can pose. I concluded from this research that while nontraditional casting is only one solution to the problem, it still has a great deal of potential to create diversity in theater. For my own show, I held the initial auditions via audio recording, though the callback auditions were held in person so that I and my crew could appraise dance and acting ability. Though there were many challenges with our cast after this initial round of auditions, we were able to solidify our cast and continue through the rehearsal process. All things said, the show was very successful. It is my hope that those who were a part of the show, either as part of the production or the audience, are inspired to challenge the concept of typecasting in contemporary theater.

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Created

Date Created
2014-12

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Basement Collaborative Theatre

Description

A student-run theatre company would give students more opportunities to perform. as well as opportunities to direct, design, and produce something that is not usually available to us. The main goal of the topic is to create a student-run theatre

A student-run theatre company would give students more opportunities to perform. as well as opportunities to direct, design, and produce something that is not usually available to us. The main goal of the topic is to create a student-run theatre company that would be able to support three to four minimal, low budget productions each year that are directed, designed, and performed by the students. These productions could be works that are new or out of the mainstream, one-act operas or musicals, works written or composed by our own students, or even standard repertoire. Productions could be minimal, with the focus being on direction and performances, or fully executed with lighting, sets, and costumes designed by the students. Whatever the format, the goal is to provide students with more opportunities in music theatre and opera. There are several components to this project. The first component is forming the student organization \u2014 the theatre company. While forming a student theatre company allows for more creativity and room to try different things, we must also figure out how to operate within the limits of a campus club. The second component is producing a show. To get a taste what our club would eventually be doing, the committee is essentially' producing a show with the guidance of Lyric Opera Theatre faculty. The third component is writing the actual thesis and preparing for my defense. Because this project is not a traditional research project, the end result will be more than a thesis paper. I hope to be able to show that Basement Collaborative has developed into an organization that will be able to sustain past my time here at ASU.

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2015-05

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The compositional styles of Alfredo Casella: an examination of four vocal works

Description

This paper and its accompanying recital examine three solo vocal works by Italian composer Alfredo Casella (1883-1947): "Larmes" from Cinq Mélodies (Op. 2); "Mort, ta servante est à ma porte" from L'adieu à la vie: Quatre lyriques funèbres extraites du

This paper and its accompanying recital examine three solo vocal works by Italian composer Alfredo Casella (1883-1947): "Larmes" from Cinq Mélodies (Op. 2); "Mort, ta servante est à ma porte" from L'adieu à la vie: Quatre lyriques funèbres extraites du "Gitanjali" de Rabindranath Tagore (Op. 26); and "Amante sono, vaghiccia, di voi" from Tre canzoni trecentesche (Op. 36). Each of these songs is discussed as representative of Casella's three compositional periods. A fourth song, "Ecce odor filii mei" from Tre canti sacri per baritono et organo (Op. 66), is also examined, as an end-of-life composition. Some of the more important solo vocal works composed in each period are mentioned to show where the four selected songs fit into Casella's compositional output and to suggest music for further study or repertoire.

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Date Created
2014

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Benjamin Britten: composer as conductor and the art of self interpretation

Description

In the triumvirate of composer-performer-listener, while the listener always wins, the performer is the interpreter through which the listener experiences the writings of the composer. When the composer and performer are combined, however, a unique situation arises: the link from

In the triumvirate of composer-performer-listener, while the listener always wins, the performer is the interpreter through which the listener experiences the writings of the composer. When the composer and performer are combined, however, a unique situation arises: the link from the composer to the listener becomes a direct line and the composer becomes his/her own interpreter. Such is the case with Benjamin Britten. Britten conducted almost his entire repertoire in recordings for Decca (the exceptions being Paul Bunyan, Owen Wingrave, and Death in Venice). A comparative analysis of the recordings of four of Britten's works, the Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings, Op. 31; Albert Herring, Op. 39; Spring Symphony, Op. 44; and the Nocturne, Op. 60, shows that despite his complaints about performers not following his tempo markings, Britten often deviated from them himself, tending slower. Britten also occasionally added additional rubato, ritardandi, and accelerandi to his works. Additionally, a discrepancy regarding a pitch in the "Prelude" of the Serenade comes to light. Video of Britten conducting the Nocturne in rehearsal with the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) Vancouver provides additional insight into his methodology. Benjamin Britten succeeded as a composer-conductor, and his catalogue of recordings provides essential primary reference material when studying his works.

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Date Created
2014

Windy City Opera's La Bohème: a case study of producing micro-opera in Chicago

Description

This research paper recounts the work done in founding an opera company and putting on its inaugural show. It also provides some of the insights acquired during the process, which may be helpful for other future opera producers in creating

This research paper recounts the work done in founding an opera company and putting on its inaugural show. It also provides some of the insights acquired during the process, which may be helpful for other future opera producers in creating a framework and guideposts for starting their own companies. The paper consists of two main sections followed by several short appendices.

The first section methodically reconstructs the process by which Windy City Opera's La Bohème was brought to the stage. It covers the background experiences that prompted the author to found her own company, the research and decisions involved, and the interplay between the company's overall goals and the resources available for a first production. The business, casting, rehearsing, and marketing aspects are reviewed in detail, as well as several mistakes that were made during the process that afforded valuable learning opportunities.

The second section follows up on these and other opportunities by sketching an ideal plan that opera startups might follow; the principal topics are timeline, budgeting, fundraising, venue selection, personnel selection, and marketing.

The appendices consist of worksheets and materials meant to illustrate and supplement this written how-to guide, as well as a video of the Windy City Opera production of La Bohème.

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Created

Date Created
2016

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Social media, marketing, and the opera singer

Description

ABSTRACT

This research is focused on technology in the arts, social media, and the opera singer. Topics include recent performance trends, social media, marketing techniques, and creating a successful brand. This paper also focuses on how to leverage social media platforms

ABSTRACT

This research is focused on technology in the arts, social media, and the opera singer. Topics include recent performance trends, social media, marketing techniques, and creating a successful brand. This paper also focuses on how to leverage social media platforms build a digital persona, and create an engaged audience. The same techniques used by corporations and opera companies for their social media and marketing strategy can be leveraged to increase brand awareness, build a strong network, and may aid in generating new opportunities for the opera singer.

Key Words: Social Media, Opera Singer, Branding, Marketing, Technology

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Created

Date Created
2016

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Art songs of Charles Ives: accessible to beginning singers

Description

The performance of Charles Ives's art songs can be challenging to even the most experienced singers, but to beginning singers, they may be even more so, due to such twentieth-century aspects as polytonality, polyrhythm, tone clusters, aleatoric elements, and quarter

The performance of Charles Ives's art songs can be challenging to even the most experienced singers, but to beginning singers, they may be even more so, due to such twentieth-century aspects as polytonality, polyrhythm, tone clusters, aleatoric elements, and quarter tones. However, Ives used previously existing material, often familiar hymn tunes, as the foundation for many of his art songs. If beginning students first are exposed to this borrowed material, such as a simple hymn tune, which should be well within even the most experienced singer's comfort range, they can then learn this tune first, as a more simplistic reference point, and then focus on how Ives altered the tunes, rather then having to learn what seems like an entirely new melody. In this way, Ives's art songs can become more accessible to less-experienced singers. This paper outlines a method for researching and learning the borrowed materials in Ives's songs that utilize them, and reviews materials already commonly used by voice teachers to help beginning students learn their music. By combining this method, which focuses on the borrowed materials, with standard practices teachers can then help their beginning students more easily learn and perform Ives's art songs. Four songs, from the set "Four Hymn Tune Settings" by Charles Ives are used to illustrate this method.

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Created

Date Created
2012

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Bringing opera to a small community

Description

ABSTRACT The purpose of this research project is to provide participants with a personal experience in opera, to change their perceptions and provoke further interest in the art form. By introducing community opera into a society, we can educate and

ABSTRACT The purpose of this research project is to provide participants with a personal experience in opera, to change their perceptions and provoke further interest in the art form. By introducing community opera into a society, we can educate and perhaps expand the acceptance of opera in a population. This document uses The Survey of Public Participation of the Arts by the National Endowment for the Arts in order to provide an accurate account of the declining attendance of opera. Only through education and exposure can we improve opera attendance. In order to create opera appreciation the researcher introduced an applicable opera performance situation in a small community. The process in which the opera was implemented has been evaluated and separated into the following eight components: preparation, rehearsal, set construction and props, pamphlets, budget, advertising, dress rehearsal, and performance. Each will be considered separately. The benefits of that community program and the process in which the opera took place are included in this research.

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Date Created
2012

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An analysis and discussion of Zwischenfach voices

Description

Zwischen in the German language means `between,' and over the past century, as operatic voices have evolved in both range and size, the voice classification of Zwischenfach has become much more relevant - particularly to the female voice. Identifying whether

Zwischen in the German language means `between,' and over the past century, as operatic voices have evolved in both range and size, the voice classification of Zwischenfach has become much more relevant - particularly to the female voice. Identifying whether nineteenth century composers recognized the growing opportunities for vocal drama, size, and range in singers and therefore wrote roles for `between' singers; or conversely whether, singers began to challenge and develop their voices to sing the new influx of romantic, verismo and grand repertoire is difficult to determine. Whichever the case, teachers and students should not be surprised about the existence of this nebulous Fach. A clear and concise definition of the word Fach for the purpose of this paper is as follows: a specific voice classification. Zwischenfach is an important topic because young singers are often confused and over-eager to self-label due to the discipline's excessive labeling of Fachs. Rushing to categorize a young voice ultimately leads to misperceptions. To address some of the confusion, this paper briefly explores surveys of the pedagogy and history of the Fach system. To gain insights into the relevance of Zwischenfach in today's marketplace, I developed with my advisors, colleagues and students a set of subjects willing to fill out questionnaires. This paper incorporates current interviews from two casting directors of national and international opera houses, an emerging American mezzo-soprano, a mid-career working European mezzo-soprano, an operatic stage director, an education director for opera houses and a composer. These interviews, along with modern examples of zwischenfach voices are analyzed and discussed.

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Date Created
2012