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Stanislav Binicki's opera Na uranku: genesis of critical analysis of the first Serbian opera

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The focus of this study was the first Serbian opera, Na Uranku (At Dawn). It was written by Stanislav Binièki (1872-1942) and was first performed in 1903 at the National Theatre in Belgrade. There were two objectives of this project:

The focus of this study was the first Serbian opera, Na Uranku (At Dawn). It was written by Stanislav Binièki (1872-1942) and was first performed in 1903 at the National Theatre in Belgrade. There were two objectives of this project: (1) a live concert performance of the opera, which produced an audio recording that can be found as an appendix; and, (2) an accompanying document containing a history and an analysis of the work. While Binièki's opera is recognized as an extraordinary artistic achievement, and a new genre of musical enrichment for Serbian music, little had been previously written either about the composer or the work. At Dawn is a romantic opera in the verismo tradition with national elements. The significance of this opera is not only in its artistic expression but also in how it helped the music of Serbia evolve. Early opera settings in Serbia in the mid-nineteenth to early twentieth century did not have the same wealth of history upon which to draw as had existed in the rich operatic oeuvre in Western Europe and Russia. Similarly, conditions for performance were not satisfactory, as were no professional orchestras or singers. Furthermore, audiences were not accustomed to this type of art form. The opera served as an educational instrument for the audience, not only training them to a different type of music but also evolving its national consciousness. Binièki's opera was a foundation on which later generations of composers built. The artistic value of this opera is emphasized. The musical language includes an assimilation of various influences from Western Europe and Russia, properly incorporated into the Serbian musical core. Audience reaction is discussed, a positive affirmation that Binièki was moving in the right direction in establishing a path for the further development of the artistic field of Serbian musical culture. A synopsis of the work as well as the requisite performing forces is also included.

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Date Created
2011

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A history of the first fifty years of the Orpheus Male Chorus of Phoenix

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ABSTRACT The Orpheus Male Chorus of Phoenix occupies and maintains an historical place in the musical and civic history of the City of Phoenix and the State of Arizona. Organized in November, 1929, the Orpheus Male Chorus of Phoenix (OMC)

ABSTRACT The Orpheus Male Chorus of Phoenix occupies and maintains an historical place in the musical and civic history of the City of Phoenix and the State of Arizona. Organized in November, 1929, the Orpheus Male Chorus of Phoenix (OMC) is the only performing arts organization in Phoenix that can claim eighty-one years of continuous performance. The chorus gained popularity locally, nationally, and internationally in its first five decades. The breadth of the chorus's recognition began to decline in the latter part of the 20th century, but the chorus still retains a loyal following of audience members. This study focuses on the first fifty years of the OMC, especially the period from 1946 to 1979, the years the chorus was under the direction of Ralph Hess. Through his leadership the group's popularity and recognition reached a peak, thanks largely to his emphasis on civic responsibility, ties to service organizations, and musical ability and showmanship. No scholarly publications exist regarding this organization. Several boxes of memorabilia housed in the Arizona Historical Society Museum in Tempe, Arizona, serve as the primary source of material for this study. Concert programs supply information about concert repertoire, advertising, and chorus history. Newspaper articles from local and international press offer reviews, announcements, and media perceptions of the chorus. Information illustrating the abundant civic engagement of the OMC appears in proclamations and awards from local, state, national, and international personalities. This objective information helps propel the story forward, as do the personal letters and stories contained within the collection. Because many documents from the latter part of the 1970s are missing, the primary source information becomes more anecdotal and subjective. This study illustrates some of the ways in which the OMC went beyond mere survival to occupy a significant place in the musical life of Phoenix. Engagement in civic and social functions and support for non-profit organizations established the chorus as more than just a musical ensemble. Their pursuit under Hess of "Cultural Citizenship" earned them international recognition as civic leaders and ambassadors of goodwill.

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Date Created
2010

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Stefania Turkevych's Heart of Oksana (1969): A Critical Edition of a Lost Ukrainian Opera

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It is no secret that the Soviet Union silenced the voices of many artists, but pieces of this history are still emerging—including the story of Ukraine's first female composer to achieve professional renown: Stefania Turkevych (1898-1977). Although the quantity and

It is no secret that the Soviet Union silenced the voices of many artists, but pieces of this history are still emerging—including the story of Ukraine's first female composer to achieve professional renown: Stefania Turkevych (1898-1977). Although the quantity and quality of Turkevych's compositional output should have established her as a major international figure, most of her work remains unpublished. Turkevych is absent from both Grove Music and Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart (MGG Online). There is a clear need for English-language biographical materials about Turkevych and for publication of her works.

This document represents the first critical edition of Turkevych’s three-act chamber opera, Серце Оксани (The Heart of Oksana), commissioned in 1969 for the 100th anniversary of the creation of Canada’s Province of Manitoba (and its subsequent settlement by members of the Ukrainian diasporic community). The score is prefaced by brief introductions to both Turkevych and Серце Оксани as well as an explanation of editorial procedure and a critical report.

Lost Soviet-era voices carry particular social and political weight as present-day Ukraine reclaims an identity that moves beyond reductive “Russian vs. European” dichotomies, and solidifying that identity seems even more urgent against the backdrop of the current Donbass War (2013-present). This project represents the first step in a much longer-term effort to unearth and share Turkevych’s story and overlooked contributions as a composer, teacher, and lifelong advocate of Ukraine’s language and culture.

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Date Created
2020