The Operatics Working Group is dedicated to investigating the workings of operatic performance. In its third year, the group will focus on the theme of Sound and Spectacle in 2010-2011. We will examine how the experience of opera in different media and performance contexts impacts our response to and understanding of opera as both sound and spectacle. Our work will encompass other genres that rely on the integration of sonic and visual experience, including film, musical theatre on stage and screen and visual art that is representative of the spectacle of musical performance and sound. This goal of critically interrogating the interaction and tension between audible and visual dimensions of musical performance on canvas, stage, and screen participates in a broad contemporary discourse surrounding musical sound and/as spectacle.
Our mode of diverse meeting formats allows us to interact variously with each other, with guests, and with the public. Some meetings are planned as discussion sections based in current scholarly readings, and some involve presentations of new scholarly work by our members. In the spring of 2011, we will hold our third annual symposium, featuring Richard Leppert, author of The Sight of Sound: Music, Representation, and the History of the Body (University of California Press, 1993) and editor of Beyond the Soundtrack: Representing Music in Cinema (Ashgate, 2007), which includes his article, "Opera, Aesthetic Violence, and the Imposition of Modernity: Fitzcarraldo."