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zina's avatar

If you could write a research paper on ANY TOPIC related (somehow) to OPERA, what would it be?

Asked by zina (1636 points ) October 29th, 2008

10–15 pages, you’ve got a month for research and writing (during a busy schedule), and basically all the resources you might need (great library, mentoring, computer and internet, etc)... and a solid music education, but just a basic familiarity with opera.

ANYTHING – early opera/drama, 19th century exoticism/orientalism and vocal ornaments, any aspect of a particular artist or composer, analysis of a specific opera, something related to traditional Persian or Chinese or contemporary opera, ..... so outside of the box is ok.

Thanks for the brainstorming! I need inspiration and ideas!

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13 Answers

jtvoar16's avatar

LOL! Fluther thought you were talking about Opera Internet Browser, so it shot this question my way! Oops.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

I would write about the staging of Carmen as Carmen Jones. This was a favorite of my daughters when they were young, and still is today. Probably from watching Bizet’s Dream so many times.

Or write about the Met’s use of simulcast and social media.

Or what about opera and Hollywood cartoons

shadling21's avatar

Have there been filmed operas or operatic films? A look at the nature of film versus theatre could be interesting.

zina's avatar

ooooooo love the simulcast and social media idea. I hadn’t know that phrase before – a good one! I’d love to know any more of your thoughts on the subject.

Coincidentally, I’d been thinking of looking at the relationship between Bizet’s ‘exotic’ elements in Carmen’s vocal part as compared to ‘authentic’ source material of the people she represents——as in, which elements of Rom/Gypsy music he incorporated (ie augmented seconds, mode mixture) or ignored (asymmetrical meters, timbre, etc etc… this list would be quite long!). Anyway, that was a great YouTube clip! I hadn’t seen it!

mmmmm I don’t know much about film and opera (I’ve only seen a few – there are many filmed productions, but actually there’s a great movie version of Carmen), but it’s an interesting idea. Quite related to this idea of musicals, movies, re-staging, simulcasting…. other ways of putting out this art form, and what’s lost/gained.

Keep ‘em coming!

caljanson's avatar

Relate it to possible cures for sleep disorders…

sdeutsch's avatar

I’ve always thought the origins of different types of theater were really interesting. That was one of my favorite parts of all the History of Drama classes I took – seeing how different movements and forms evolved from each other… I have no idea where/how opera originated, but that’s what I’d research!

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

Attracting younger audiences to opera.

Not sure how you would work this, but as caljanson alluded, in the US, opera is perceived as a snooze, but is that the case in Italy, Austria, etc.?

What about the relationship of opera to broadway musicals? (Talking about a snooze—Andrew Lloyd Webber puts me out after the first 10 minutes. Like clockwork)

bodyhead's avatar

I clicked in here to answer ‘open source’ vs ‘proprietary software’... but it turns out you weren’t talking about Opera the web browser.

wundayatta's avatar

I’d do Phillip Glass’s latest opera. There’s plenty of fertile ground there, and not all of it has been plowed before. Also, you can zone out and catch some zzz’s listening to it.

deaddolly's avatar

Check out Klaus Nomi www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuSrsGzhD9U
He was part of the ‘new wave’ era and a protege of Bowie’s. He’d play places like CBGB’s and sing opera. I believe he died of aids. He had a really interesting life…and he’d definately be out of the box.
you could do something on the more bizarre aspect of opera.

cwilbur's avatar

What interests you about opera? A topic that you are interested in will result in a much better paper.

The last paper I wrote on opera was about gender markers and dominance hierarchies in Tannhäuser, and I looked fairly closely at Act I, Scene 4, where Tannhäuser meets his old friends. All male singers, but if you look at gender markers (take a look at Susan McClary’s Feminine Endings for a good basic introduction) you can see that there are more masculine/dominant and more feminine/submissive markers associated with all the characters. In particular, the (musical) relationship between Wolfram and Tannhäuser is very interesting in the light of what McClary has to say about “masculine” and “feminine” musical markers.

DrBill's avatar

I have no interest in opera, I would write about the effects it has, the stories, etc.

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

It would be on an opera composer’s life, or a famous opera performer i.e. Luciano Pavarotti

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