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

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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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2014

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Social media, marketing, and the opera singer

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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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2016

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OperaTunity: opera education for the community

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Opera education is a relatively new addition to opera companies in the United States, introducing children and adults to opera and spreading the message that operas are dramatic stories told through music. This paper focuses on the opera education grou

Opera education is a relatively new addition to opera companies in the United States, introducing children and adults to opera and spreading the message that operas are dramatic stories told through music. This paper focuses on the opera education group OperaTunity and its relationship with the company Arizona Opera, which is based in Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona. The majority of the paper consists of a history of Arizona Opera, the establishment of its Opera Education Department, and the inception and activities of OperaTunity. The information in this account comes from interviews with personnel involved with OperaTunity and from documents pertinent to the program. This study also examines the reception and success of the group in Arizona and includes examples of educational materials to provide to teachers who are introducing children and adults to opera. This account of the history and activities of OperaTunity is intended to aid future educators and opera companies in developing opera education programs.

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2016

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Bringing opera to a small community

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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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2012

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Emily Dickinson's "There came a wind like a bugle--: a singer's analysis of song settings by Ernst Bacon, Lee Hoiby, and Gordon Getty

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Emily Dickinson is a well-known American poet of the nineteenth century, and her oeuvre consists of nearly 2,000 posthumously published poems. Written largely in hymn form with unique ideas of punctuation and grammar, her poetry attracts composers with its inherent

Emily Dickinson is a well-known American poet of the nineteenth century, and her oeuvre consists of nearly 2,000 posthumously published poems. Written largely in hymn form with unique ideas of punctuation and grammar, her poetry attracts composers with its inherent musicality. The twentieth-century American composers Aaron Copland, Ernst Bacon, Lee Hoiby, and Gordon Getty have created song settings of Dickinson's poetry. Copland's song cycle Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson (1949-50) is admired by many as an illustration of poetry; however, the Dickinson cycles by Bacon, Hoiby, and Getty are also valuable, lesser-known representations of her writing. Settings of one poem, "There came a Wind like a Bugle--", are common among Copland's Twelve Poems, Bacon's cycle Songs from Emily Dickinson: Nature, Time, and Space (1930), Hoiby's Four Dickinson Songs (1988), and Getty's The White Election (1982). These latter three settings have previously undergone some theoretical analysis; however, this paper considers a performance analysis of these songs from a singer's point of view. Chapter 1 provides background for this study. Chapter 2 consists of a biographical overview of Dickinson's life and writing style, as well as a brief literary analysis of "There came a Wind like a Bugle--". Chapters 3, 4, and 5 discuss Ernst Bacon, Lee Hoiby, and Gordon Getty, respectively; each chapter consists of a short biography of the composer and a discussion of his writing style, a brief theoretical analysis of his song setting, and commentary on the merits of his setting from the point of view of a singer. Observations of the depiction of mood in the song and challenges for the singer are also noted. This paper provides a comparative analysis of three solo vocal settings of one Emily Dickinson poem as a guide for singers who wish to begin studying song settings of this poem. The Bacon and Hoiby settings were found to be lyrical, tonal representations of the imagery presented in "There came a Wind like a Bugle--". The Getty setting was found to be a musically starker representation of the poem's atmosphere. These settings are distinctive and worthy of study and performance.

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2011

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Pregnancy and postpartum: a guide for singers

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The trained singer utilizes an awareness of her body as an instrument. When she becomes pregnant, her body changes in numerous ways to support the pregnancy. Many of these changes have great impact on her ability to sing during the

The trained singer utilizes an awareness of her body as an instrument. When she becomes pregnant, her body changes in numerous ways to support the pregnancy. Many of these changes have great impact on her ability to sing during the pregnancy and postpartum periods. The voice may be altered positively or negatively by the release of hormones. The body undergoes many changes that affect the posture and breathing required for singing. Most notably, the abdominal muscles are greatly impacted by the pregnancy. They are stretched by the growing uterus, and this affects their function. In addition, the linea alba (the connective tissue between the halves of the rectus abdominis) is softened by hormonal increases and subject to stretching as the uterus grows, predisposing it to weakness. Since the other abdominal muscles attach to the linea alba via connective tissue, maintaining the integrity of the linea alba during pregnancy and postpartum is vital to the operational function of the abdominal muscles. Protecting the vulnerable linea alba must be deliberately undertaken in two parts. First, conscious exercise is needed to preserve the linea alba during pregnancy and to rehabilitate it after pregnancy. Targeted exercises strengthen the transverse abdominis and shorten and approximate the two halves of the rectus abdominis. Second, modifications in daily movement are necessary to protect the linea alba while performing routine activities. Cesarean sections present additional surgical concerns for singers, including abdominal incisions, use of medication, and the rare need for general anesthesia via intubation. Recovery from a cesarean can be difficult due to abdominal pain, yet steps may be taken to speed healing at the hospital and at home. This paper provides an overview of how pregnancy affects the singer, discusses the effects of pregnancy and cesarean section, and provides a plan to protect the abdominal muscles during pregnancy and rehabilitate them in the postpartum period. It combines information from the fields of physical therapy, medicine, and surgery into a guide for the singer and voice teacher.

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2013

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East meets west: stereotyping the East-Asian female in operatic works from 1885 to 2010

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Artistic trends of the mid-nineteenth century demonstrate the popularity of incorporating Asian elements into various artistic media. This paper discusses why the stereotypical Asian female provided an attractive character for operatic librettists, composers and audiences. To support the discussion, six

Artistic trends of the mid-nineteenth century demonstrate the popularity of incorporating Asian elements into various artistic media. This paper discusses why the stereotypical Asian female provided an attractive character for operatic librettists, composers and audiences. To support the discussion, six operas from 1885 to 2010 are examined, and the dramatic and musical portrayal of representative female characters is discussed. The familiar character of Cio-cio-san from Giocamo Puccini's Madama Butterfly (1904) provides a foundation to discuss these stereotypical Asian female characteristics, specifically one archetype, that of the naïve, yet sexually desirable female. Prior to Cio-cio-san, Sir W. S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan's Yum-Yum from The Mikado (1885), Iris of Pietro Mascagni's Iris (1898) exemplify this archetype, as does Liù from Puccini's Turandot (1924). At the other extreme is the icy, cold and bloodthirsty archetype found in the title role of Puccini's Turandot and Katisha from The Mikado. Chiang Ch'ing (also known as Madame Mao) from John Adams's Nixon in China (1987), and Madame White Snake from Chinese-American composer Zhou Long's Madame White Snake (2010) feature leading characters that demonstrate elements of both of these archetypes, and this combination of the two archetypes yields more complex and richer characters. These two extremes of the female Asian stereotype and the evolution of these characteristics provide an interesting outlook on the incorporation of non-Western musical styles into these operas, and the understanding of a Western perception of foreign peoples, especially foreign females.

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2013

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Female Greek virtue in the House of Atreus: daughters of Agamemnon as depicted in Handel's Oreste, Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride, and Strauss's Elektra

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This doctoral project involves a multi-disciplined analysis concerning Agamemnon's daughters (Iphigenia, Electra, and Chrysothemis) and how these women's gender and virtues were depicted as compared with ideal Greek women in antiquity. Three composers in three different eras adapted the literary

This doctoral project involves a multi-disciplined analysis concerning Agamemnon's daughters (Iphigenia, Electra, and Chrysothemis) and how these women's gender and virtues were depicted as compared with ideal Greek women in antiquity. Three composers in three different eras adapted the literary and musical depictions of these women based on the composer's society, culture, audience expectations, musical climate and personal goals. George Friedrich Handel's Oreste (1734), Christoph Willibald von Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride (1779) and Richard Strauss's Elektra (1909) are the main operas used for this analysis. The Mycenaean House of Atreus, a dynasty which the ancient Greeks traced back to the time of the Trojan War in the 12th century BCE, figures prominently in Greek mythology and ancient Greek literature concerning the Trojan War. The House of Atreus included Agamemnon, King of Mycenae and commander of the Greeks at Troy, his wife Clytaemnestra, their son Orestes, and their daughters: Iphigenia, Electra, and Chrysothemis. For over three thousand years, the legend of this ancient family has inspired musical scores, plays, poetry, architecture, sculpture, paintings, and movies. Numerous studies examine the varying interpretations of the House of Atreus myths; few, if any, address the ways in which female Greek virtues are depicted operatically within the myths. In the music of Handel's Oreste, Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride and Strauss's Elektra, Agamemnon's daughters contradict the ideal Greek woman while still exhibiting heroic or idealistic virtues. The analysis of the operas in their social contexts will address the audience expectations and composers' dramatic interpretations of the myth. This analysis will include: a brief overview of ancient Greek culture and gender roles; a literary comparison of the original dramas to the librettos; societal audience expectations in their historical contexts; musical, philosophical, and literary influences on the composers; and an examination of music composed in two different centuries and in three different styles. The brief historical, cultural, literary, and musical analyses highlight the absence and presence of ancient Greek virtues, and how these women can be presented both as heroic, or virtuous, and unvirtuous in the same production.

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2012

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The relationship of music and poetry in Dies Natalis by Gerald Finzi

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This paper explores the relationship of text and music in Dies Natalis by Gerald Finzi. Many of Gerald Finzi’s compositions have been researched and analyzed, but Dies Natalis, a work for high voice and string quartet, has received limited

This paper explores the relationship of text and music in Dies Natalis by Gerald Finzi. Many of Gerald Finzi’s compositions have been researched and analyzed, but Dies Natalis, a work for high voice and string quartet, has received limited attention. The text is by Thomas Traherne, a lesser-known English poet and theologian. The research investigates textual interpretation and an explanation or a discussion of the religious mysticism of Traherne. After a biographical discussion of the composer and the poet, this paper provides a musical analysis, including a study of thematic and harmonic relationships in the work, and an examination of word painting and text setting. To facilitate my analysis, I used the piano reduction and not the string score for this project.

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2016

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Bullying and Performance Anxiety in Classically Trained Singers

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A strong correlation exists between the effects of bullying on a singer and his or her performance anxiety. An exhaustive literature review and a survey of classical singers were used to assess this hypothesis. The survey was compiled using standard

A strong correlation exists between the effects of bullying on a singer and his or her performance anxiety. An exhaustive literature review and a survey of classical singers were used to assess this hypothesis. The survey was compiled using standard psychological and current performance anxiety questionnaires with additional questions created by the author. The data were analyzed using a Pearson Product-Moment Correlation, a regression analysis, and an Analysis of Variance.

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2017