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Mythology, Epic, and the Operatic Turn

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Organizer: Eugenio Refini, Johns Hopkins University

The epic tradition, both classical and early modern, is an inexhaustible source of situations and characters for opera. Along with classical mythology, epic narratives (themselves involved in a most productive process of imitation internal to the genre) inspired countless operatic retellings: Orpheus and Eurydice, Ulysses and Circe, Dido and Aenas, Ruggiero and Alcina, Tancredi and Clorinda, Rinaldo and Armida, to mention but a few emblematic examples, would all revive on the opera stage for centuries to come. While the reception of epic and mythological poetry in the arts – including drama and music – has been the object of many contributions that have brilliantly enlightened a multifaceted process of transformation and rewriting, some key aspects of the operatic afterlife of epic remain largely unexplored. What happens to characters when they go on stage? How does the operatic adaptation affect their portrayal as well as the syntax of the epic/mythological narrative? How does the ‘operatic turn’ impact on the reception of the genre? What do operatic adaptations tell us about the reception of epic and mythological subjects in the early modern period? Topics and case studies may include (but are not limited to) early opera as well as hybrid genres such as the lamento and the madrigale rappresentativo. Given the interdisciplinary nature of the panel, papers addressing both libretti and musical sources are particularly welcome.

Please send by June 5 2016 to colejanie@gmail.com:

  • Individual paper titles, not to exceed 15 words
  • A 150-word maximum paper abstract
  • A 300-word max 1 page CV in paragraph form
  • Keywords (general, not specific)
  • AV requirements

Tags:  classical tradition  classics  epic poetry  mythology  Opera 

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