PHILHARMONICA. International Music Journal - rubric Music Theatre
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Music Theatre
Argamakova N.V. - Mathematical structures and symmetry principles in Arvo Pärts music and choreographic projections
pp. 1-13

DOI:
10.7256/2453-613X.2019.5.30841

Abstract: The article analyzes the use of mathematical structures in the music of Estonian composer Arvo Pärt and their incorporation in choreography. The author considers Pärt’s works interpreted by choreographs, namely: «Spiegel im Spiegel», «Fratres»,«Tabula rasa», «Summa». These works are analyzed from the viewpoint of the composer’s referral to “lyrical geometry” in while composing. The author also considers symmetry principles in choreography. Symmetry, first of all, is geometrically adjusted and balanced positioning of the artist’s body, it’s position in space. In choreographic incorporations of Pärt’s music, choreographers project symmetry of the musical text onto the choreographic one. The author analyzes the following ballets from the viewpoint of symmetry using: “Otello” by John Neumeier, “Déjà vu” by Hans Van Manen, “Ward No. 6” by Radu Poklitaru, “Nunc Dimittis” by Nacho Duato. The methodological basis of the research is the comprehensive approach based on scientific achievements of both the modern musicology and the study of choreography. In his works, Arvo Pärt often refers to mathematical structures in composing. It is determined not only by rational grounds of the author’s technique  tintinnabuli, but also by the spiritual component of Pärt’s music, so the structure in the composer’s works is often symbolic. In ballets to the music of Pärt, we can see the choreographer’s references to the symmetry principles as one of the ways of interaction with music. Depending on the artistic goal, relations with the music, the genre of the ballet, the symmetry principles incorporated into Pärt’s compositions and reflected in choreographic interpretations of his works, are used differently by choreographers.  
Khokhlova D. - Choreographic interpretation of Chopins Ballade No.1 (g-moll) in John Neumeiers ballet Lady of the Camellias: on the issue of semantic and compositional unity
pp. 1-12

DOI:
10.7256/2453-613X.2020.3.32664

Abstract: The purpose of the article is to confirm or confute the semantic and compositional similarity of Chopin’s piano heritage with its ideal and graphic interpretation by a choreographer John Neumeier in the context of synthetic materialization on the ballet stage. The object of research is the “black” duet of Marguerite and Armand from the 1978 ballet Lady of the Camellias. The contextual unity of the compositional and semantic choreographic interpretation of this fragment with the music images of the Ballade No.1 g-moll is the subject of research. The theoretical and methodological background of the research is the principles of critical analysis of the choreographic and musical text of the play, and the semantic analysis of choreography developed by historians and theorists of the ballet art (Vanslov, Dobrovolskaya, Lopukhov, Slonimsky). The research is based on video materials from the archives of the Ballettzentrum Hamburg and the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. The author uses the method of overt observation (based on the personal experience of work with Neumeier as a participant of the Lady of the Camellias first run in Moscow on March 20th, 2014) together with the analysis of the choreographer’s lectures  and rehearsals records from the author’s archive. The analysis of the semantics of the choreographic form and vocabulary of the “black” adagio is the main instrument used for solving the scientific problem. Among the new results are the significant groundwork in the detection of classic and innovative author’s expression elements of Neumeier’s artistic language. The author concludes that the combination of the ballade narration with the harmony of the sonata form typical for the Ballade No.1 dictates Neumeier the allocation of parts and the development of choreographic themes inconcert with the music ones, while the dramatic propensity towards conflict allows the choreographer to develop the main characters’ confession.   
Bezuglaia G.A. - Leonide Massine's Music Laboratory: On the 125th Anniversary of the Outstanding Choreographers Birth pp. 1-17

DOI:
10.7256/2453-613X.2020.5.33987

Abstract: This article explores the musical component and artistic activity of the Russian diaspora's outstanding choreographer Leonide Massine (18951979), whose 125th birthday was celebrated by the theatrical world in 2020. The main milestones of the choreographer's musical education are noted, the spectrum of his musical interests is revealed, and his techniques of working with the music of the created ballets are studied. The purpose of this research, carried out using historical and typological methods, is to study the stages of the formation of the choreographer's musical maturity and style. The circumstances of Massine's collaboration with contemporary composers Manuel de Falla, Eric Satie, Sergei Prokofiev, and Paul Hindemith are also considered. Special attention is paid to the formation of a system of artistic methods of working with music in the choreographers joint work with Igor Stravinsky on the implementation of the ballets Pulcinella and Sacred Spring. The questions of Massine's attitude to such spheres of musical expressiveness, including rhythm, dynamics, and timbre, are highlighted. The methods of the choreographer's work with works of symphonic music are studied, and the ways of achieving musical and plastic synthesis in the stage solutions of Massine's choreographic symphonies are analyzed, including Omens (1933) to the music of the Fifth Symphony by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Choreartium (1933) to the music of the 4th Symphony by Johannes Brahms, Fantastic Symphony (1936) to the music of the symphony by the same name by Hector Berlioz, etc. It is concluded that the laws of musical composition and dramaturgy were a source of artistic renewal and enrichment for the choreographers style, marking the development of his choreography's intellectual beginning.
. - Minimalism and Postmodernism in John Adams' opera Nixon in China pp. 1-10

DOI:
10.7256/2453-613X.2022.2.37705

Abstract: The subject of the study is the opera by composer John Adams "Nixon in China". This opera is written in the style of musical minimalism in the context of postmodern trends. "Nixon in China" is the first documentary opera based on the genre of reportage. On the example of the opera "Nixon in China", the peculiarities of the functioning of the opera genre in the postmodern era are clearly manifested. In "Nixon in China", the culture of performance is combined with the traditions of the bolshoi opera, refracted in the light of the spiritual quest of music of the second half of the XX century. The social problems of the opera conceal a number of philosophical issues related to the fate of the individual and the state. The main conclusions of the study are the provisions on the combination of minimalism, grand opera and postmodernism in "Nixon in China". It is determined that minimalism in the musical language is manifested in the meditativeness of the musical image, the use of patterns of development of musical material enriched with harmonic movement. Postmodernism expressed itself in intertextuality, performance culture, eclecticism and in the peculiarities of the genre nature of opera. The basis for the opera was the genre of news reporting. The vocal characteristics of the heroes have a cross-cutting development in the direction from the external diplomatic appearance to internal experiences, against the background of which philosophical questions are raised about the uncertainty of the fate of the state and the role of the individual in history.
Kozovchinskaia E. - On the Problem of the Concept of "Topos" in Musicology (on the Example of A. Kholminov's Opera "Anna Snegina") pp. 1-9

DOI:
10.7256/2453-613X.2022.5.38822

EDN: BBPASH

Abstract: The purpose of the article is to consider the opera by A. N. Kholminov "Anna Snegina", applying the concept of "topos". In the center of the plot is the image of the poet Yesenin. To comprehend historical events through the iconic image of the epoch became for the composer a direct expression of the author's ideas. Borrowed from literary criticism, the category of "topos" allowed us to reveal the stylistic features of Kholminov's operatic language. The perspective of the proposed research will make an additional contribution to the list of works on the study of Russian opera, which determines the relevance of this article. A detailed study of the concept of "topos" in the humanities opens up great prospects for its application in relation to musical works. Scientific novelty is connected with the problem under study. Insufficient research on this issue prompts a thesis to turn to the term in its primary meaning and determines the relevance of its functioning in musicology. For the first time, A. N. Kholminov's opera is analyzed by means of such a concept as "topos". In this article, an attempt is made to apply the concept of "topos" to study the complex of musical and expressive means. As a result of the research, the author comes to the conclusion that the principles of fundamental importance in the analysis of the text in literary studies take place in the study of the artistic world of the opera "Anna Snegina" by A. N. Kholminov.
Breytburg V.V. - Light Operas by William Schwenck Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan: The Characteristics of Their Works and Peculiarities of Their Performing Style pp. 11-19

DOI:
10.7256/2453-613X.2020.2.32318

Abstract: This article focuses on a separate branch of music theatre: the English Savoy operas, which are predominantly comic operas by William Schwenk Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan. Having the traits of ballad operas, operettas, and musicals, they combine music and performing techniques typical for these forms of performance. These plays were immensely popular both abroad and in Russia, where 177 performances were put on from 1877 to 1998. Consequently, Gilbert and Sullivans theatrical works incorporated the achievements of their predecessors while also introducing original elements that furthered the evolution of musical theatre; it raised operetta to a much higher level and became a starting point for new genres. The composers placed specific and rigorous requirements on the artists and performers. This research aims to study the peculiarities of the performing style seen in Gilbert and Sullivans operettas. The scientific value of this article lies in the accentuation of an original aspect of the research: the Savoy opera performing style, the generalization of incomplete data on this problem, and the introduction of new sources. The conceptual elements of compositions, which are at the core of the musical theatre image, take on special value. It is a dramaturgic component that determines vocal delivery, influences the approach to diction and phrasing, and determines the physical embodiment of the role. In addition, the articles materials have methodical importance for modern performers in operettas and popular musicals.
Zhang H. - Interpretation of Boris Godunov's part by Bulgarian opera stars: B. Hristov and N. Giaurov pp. 11-18

DOI:
10.7256/2453-613X.2020.4.33705

Abstract: The subject of this study is the interpretation of Boris Godunov's part in the opera of the same name by M.P. Mussorgsky by two Bulgarian opera stars: B. Hristov and N. Giaurov, as well as their approach to working on this role. Aiming to reveal the main semantic accents of the interpretation of the title part of the opera "Boris Godunov", the author analyzed reviews and essays of opera critics, biographical works of researchers of the singers' creativity, as well as memoirs of their contemporaries and interviews with the artists themselves as research material. The relevance of the presented work is seen in the need to carefully study the world performing heritage of the opera scene, which will create the basis for new, worthy interpretations. According to the results of the research, the author came to the conclusion that Christ's main semantic emphasis in the interpretation of the party is placed on the lofty, worthy aspirations of the tsar, who, being a dreamer and a knight, sought to exalt and strengthen his state, but fell victim to boyar resistance and the inexorable course of Russian history. Giaurov does not justify Godunov at all, although he forms the image of an awe-inspiring and admiring sovereign - monumental, domineering and proud. If Hristov, following Mussorgsky, saw in Tsar Boris a man crushed by power, then for Giaurov, as for Pushkin, the image of a tsar who subordinated everything human in himself to his main goal - power is closer.
Efanova M. - Opera House: triad conductor-director-teacher in the creative activity of E. V. Kolobov pp. 11-21

DOI:
10.7256/2453-613X.2022.3.38005

Abstract: The subject of the article is the multifaceted activity of an opera theater conductor in the unity of his directorial and pedagogical activity, necessary for professional development and creative realization of the team. The article identifies and describes various aspects of the complex impact on the opera theater staff through performing, communicative and emotional-volitional components on the example of the work of the outstanding Russian conductor, the founder of the New Opera Theater named after E.V. Kolobov, Evgeny Vladimirovich Kolobov (1946-2003). Methods of systematic and historical approaches, comparative and stylistic analysis, work with literary and musical sources were used in the work. The scientific novelty of the research consists in establishing the dialectical unity of different aspects of E. V. Kolobov's activity, which allows us to consider it as a symbiosis of conductor - director - teacher", in focusing attention on his pedagogical hypostasis, which had a huge impact on specific musicians and the theater team as a whole. The analysis of E.V. Kolobov's activity during his work at the Novaya Opera Theater allows us to get into the essence of his interpretations of the author's concepts and see the changing role of the orchestra in opera scores, as well as the interpretative and aesthetic principles that underlie opera conducting. It is proved that the tasks of an opera theater conductor include not only determining the repertoire policy, goals and objectives of joint creativity, organizing the rehearsal process, managing collective activities, but also creating conditions that contribute to the development of the creative capacities of musicians and singers.
Shoniezova D.M. - Chekhov's prose in the opera of the late XX-beginning. XXI centuries . pp. 20-27

DOI:
10.7256/2453-613X.2021.6.37354

Abstract: As the world theatrical practice of the last decades shows, it is the legacy of A.P. Chekhov that is an inexhaustible source of inspiration for many directors and composers. There is a huge number of works devoted to the topic "Chekhov and music". The musicality of Chekhov's prose is one of the most frequent topics in philological and musicological studies. Plays, novels, and short stories by the author have more than once become an occasion for new creations in the opera house. In this article, the author examines the famous operas of composers of the turn of the XX-XXI centuries based on the prose of A. Chekhov. The works are arranged according to the principle of differences between the plot plot and the libretto of operas from the literary source. In foreign musicology, the genre transformation of opera, in which the literary component becomes the main factor of centralizing unity, has been called literary (the term of K. Dahlhaus). In the most general sense, this genre should be understood as a reliable musical version in accuracy or in the abbreviation of the literary source. In Russian musicology, literary opera is a little-studied area of music history, which allows us to speak about the scientific novelty of the presented material. Thus, in the article the author comes to the conclusion that operas based on A.P. Chekhov stand apart in the implementation of the genre of literary opera in the domestic theater of the selected period. Based on the analysis, the author identifies three types of literary opera, which allow to characterize the method of composers' work with the literary source.
Wang S. - Adolphe Nourrit is singer of the July Revolution pp. 21-33

DOI:
10.7256/2453-613X.2023.5.69333

EDN: HNIUVC

Abstract: The subject of the article is the socio-cultural and religious-philosophical views of the greatest French tenor of the XIX century, Adolphe Nurrit (1802-1839). His stage work was carried out at the Paris Opéra, and during the July Revolution of 1830 he performed revolutionary songs, supporting and inspiring compatriots to fight for freedom. Considering Nurrit's creative portrait and revolutionary agitator activity in the 1830s, the author focuses on his commitment to the ideas of sentimonism, in particular, on the desire to deepen the religious and moral role of theater in society. The singer's spiritual quest can be characterized by relying on various historical evidence doctrinal positions of the sentimonists, comments from eyewitnesses, articles in newspapers, letters from Nurrit himself. The methodological strategy of the research is based on socio-historical and socio-cultural approaches. A large array of historical sources attracted by the author consists of literature in foreign languages, work with which involves linguistic research methods. The combination of different approaches and reliance on reliable historical sources makes it possible to achieve scientific novelty: Nurrit was first described as a singer of the Revolution, which left a deep imprint on his artistic appearance, religious and moral views and plans for practical implementation. The presented portrait of Nurri as an adept of the sentimonistic idea of the sacred mission of the artist and the religious and educational function of the theater is new for musicology. As a result of the undertaken research, Nurrit's deep involvement in the socio-cultural life of France becomes obvious, and his artistry stands out as a special artistic phenomenon due to the unprecedented emotional impact of the artist on his contemporaries. The materials, observations and conclusions presented in the article will find application in historical musicology and will be useful to modern opera performers.
Sokolova A.N. - An opera experiment or a new genre specimen?
pp. 22-31

DOI:
10.7256/2453-613X.2019.6.31154

Abstract: The author considers one of the five operas performed at the 2019 festival “Archstoyanie” in the village of Nikola-Lenivets, Kaluga oblast. In the natural environment, among meadows, trees, barrows, and basins, artists build art objects in which young composers perform their works. Artiom Pyś, the Moscow Conservatory alumnus, performed an hour and a half opera “teo/TEO/Theo”.  The article analyzes the idea and the concept of the piece; the author analyzes the music text and raises the question about the future of opera as a music genre. The author uses the method of comprehensive analysis which includes a brief characteristics of the work of a young composer, the structural, compositional and conceptual analysis of the music text. The scientific novelty consists in the first and the only review of one of the projects of the Contemporary Music Laboratory, in the analysis of an original piece of music which can be in the vanguard of Russia’s artistic achievements. Based on the research, the author makes suggestion about the discovery of a new direction in opera art, connected with both narrative moves (the opera’s lead character is virtual Teo/TEO/Theo), and a postmodern mixture of music genres, opera patterns and sound experiments including those involving human voice.   
Kalashnikova D.I. - Ballet "Sketches" by A. Schnittke: on the problem of interpretation of Gogol's characters pp. 22-33

DOI:
10.7256/2453-613X.2022.3.38041

Abstract: The research is devoted to the study of the musical interpretation of the heroes of the "Petersburg Stories" and the poem "Dead Souls" by N. Gogol in the ballet "Sketches" by A. Schnittke. The musical characteristics of Gogol's characters in the ballet are considered from the standpoint of ladoharmonic, rhythmic, timbre, texture features. The stylistic context of each number of the ballet cycle is analyzed in the aspect of the technique of polystylistics. Playing with stylistic models in the field of genre, form, and musical language contributed to the expansion of space-time relations and the enrichment of the figurative sphere of ballet. Due to the multi-component nature of the latter, the compositional and dramatic aspects of the ballet cycle are highlighted, based on the principles of extended expositionality, bright contrast, and distinctive characteristics. The study of the musical characteristics of the characters is carried out for the first time and is carried out from the standpoint of the individual characteristics of the Schnittke style. The author's handwriting of the composer is guessed not only in the use of polystylistic means, but also in the methods of displaying Good and Evil, "base" and "sublime". The unattractiveness of the personal qualities of Gogol's characters was clothed in an attractive mask of smash hits. The cartoon waltz, hyperbolized tango, gallop, mazurka became the symbol of the smash hit. The use of a genre stereotype to denounce evil is also observed in the Second Violin Sonata, Concerto grosso No. 1, the cantata "The Story of Dr. Johann Faust", the ballet "Peer Gynt", etc. Conclusions are drawn about the uniqueness of the musical material of each Gogol hero in the context of Schnittke's individual author's approach.
Devyatova O.L. - Russian King Lear of the 21st century: cultural traditions and innovations in the opera by Sergey Slonimsky pp. 26-41

DOI:
10.7256/2453-613X.2016.4.22681

Abstract: The research subject is the new Sergey Slonimsky’s opera “King Lear” (2001) based on Shakespeare’s tragedy. It is the first opera in modern Russian musical theatre, which is based on the old genre dramma per musica. The author of the paper studies the score and premiere plays in Moscow and St. Petersburg to analyze the cultural senses of the creative concept. The author reveals the peculiarities of performing the concept of Shakespeare’s tragedy in drama and the music style of the opera, analyzes the characters’ features and their interpretation by the performer in premiere plays. The author uses the methodology of culturological study, complex and interdisciplinary approaches, methods of historical-comparative analysis, culturological and musicological interpretation. The scientific novelty of the study consists in the fact that it is the first study, which gives profound and comprehensive theoretical and culturological analysis of the new opera “King Lear” by the patriarch of Russian music culture Sergey Slonimsky. It contains the characteristics of premiere plays of 2016 and their artistic evaluation. On the basis of Slonimsky’s work the author concludes about impressive innovation of Russian opera of the 21st century, composer’s reliance on the traditions of the Shakespearean drama theatre and music theatre of the 16th – the 17th centuries, rich in innovations of the 21st century, which smoothly synthesize the features of elite and mass culture. 
Xinhang C. - The role of Nicolo Grimaldi (Nicolini) in the Italian opera development in London in the early 18th century pp. 34-47

DOI:
10.7256/2453-613X.2023.3.43425

EDN: STXHBW

Abstract: The subject of the research is the artistic phenomenon of Nicolo Grimaldi, an outstanding Italian operatic castrato of the early 18th century. The author examines the creative biography and focuses on the analysis of the stage skills of the singer, who set the bar high for dramatic art in England. Nicolo Grimaldi (16731732) became famous under the pseudonym Nicolini (or Nicolino). His name became widely known thanks to the legendary performances on the stage of the Royal Theater in London in 17081712 and 17151717. The reconstruction of the vocal-dramatic profile of the singer, based on reliable historical sources, required to employ a comprehensive methodology, including historical, cultural and linguistic research methods. Information about Nicolinis life and work has been still unknown to the Russian musical community and is being published in Russian for the first time. Various sources of information about Nicolini have been preserved: music-critical reviews in London newspapers, scores and librettos of operas, essays, letters and memoirs of contemporaries who testified to the character of the artists vocal and acting skills. They served as material for a historical and biographical analysis, the results of which will be of interest to both practicing singers and researchers of Italian baroque opera. The historical significance of Nicolini lies in the fact that, as an excellent singer and actor, he influenced the strengthening and development of Italian opera in the early period of its existence in London.
Beliaeva T. - Specifics of Representation of Figurative Spheres in the Mono-opera The Death of a Poet by S. Slonimsky pp. 35-46

DOI:
10.7256/2453-613X.2022.5.38965

EDN: JQELBO

Abstract: One of the vectors of active search for genre solutions in the domestic musical and theatrical art of recent decades is associated with the mono-opera genre. It is characterized by extreme diversity and participates in the active processes of transformation of the opera, the pull for renewal and adaptation to the social, cultural and spiritual needs of society. The concert mono-opera The Death of a Poet by Sergei Slonimsky for voice and piano, considered in this article, is an example that largely preserves the traditions of monologue forms of utterance in the opera genre. Slonimskys opus reveals the theme of the Poet, the unrecognized prophet, which is relevant for contemporary authors. The appeal to M. Lermontovs poem of the same name, ambiguous in terms of genre and semantic content, which combined elegy and satire, determined the specifics of the formation of the mono-opera, its stylistic diversity associated with the comparison of two main figurative spheres of the mono-opera sphere Poet (Pushkin, Lermontov) and Socially (high society, Dantes). The mono-opera completely lacks stage action and storyline, which brings it closer to the vocal poem genre; the literary basis is completely preserved, the declamatory type of intonation prevails. The theme of the archetypal conflict is presented by the composer within the framework of romantic aesthetics: the image of the rebellious Hero with his lyrical impulses is opposed to the alien world of the Anti-Hero. Surveillance of the mono-opera by S. Slonimsky The Death of a Poet allows us to conclude that it largely inherits the fundamental properties of the genre, which consist in focusing on the experiences of a creative person who is in conflict with others, however, it sharpens such properties of the newest mono-opera as a monologue confession of the hero in a critical life situation, maximum concentration on the image of the protagonist.
Chupova A. - Infinito Nero by Salvatore Sciarrino: On the Phenomenon of Invisible Action pp. 36-49

DOI:
10.7256/2453-613X.2020.1.31255

Abstract: Italian composer Salvatore Sciarrino (born 1947), a philosopher and esthete whose music experimentalizes with audibility threshold, is one of the leaders of the vanguard music culture of the 20th and 21st centuries. The authors artistic concept is developed within the framework of post-serial searching, which is defined as music ecology and the ecology of listening. Despite his music's wide recognition in Europe and the US, Sciarrinos artistic work has received little analysis or study thus far. This is especially the case of his opera works, which draw the attention of the leading opera houses and become significant musical events. The topicality of this research is determined by the necessity to study the composers works and his philosophic and esthetic views in detail. Sciarrinos experiments in the realm of music theatre are connected to the notion of azione invisible (invisible action), which is the focus of this article in the context of the composers artistic concept. The research subject of this study is Sciarrinos opera Infinito Nero (1998). The research methodology is based on a complex approach that includes systematic, interpretational, musical, and analytical methods. Through an analysis of the libretto, dramaturgy, and its acoustic realization, the author uncovers the distinctive features of invisible action in Infinito Nero, including the lack of traditional plot development, the leveling of a visual component, the ambiguity of character identification, the vagueness of space and time, and the modeling of a sonorous environment in which the microscopic acoustic elements with ecological origins and their transformation become of primary importance. The concept of invisible action is defined by the dramaturgy of listening and the new mode of listener comprehension in which the visualization process of acoustic images plays a central role in understanding the meaning of everything thats happening.
Bezuglaia G.A. - Apollo's Gift pp. 38-53

DOI:
10.7256/2453-613X.2020.4.32170

Abstract: This article analyzes the interaction between music and dance in Emilio de' Cavalieris ballo O Che Nuovo Miracolo (Oh What a New Miracle, Florence, 1589). The relevance of this research lies in the interest in the emergence and development of the theatre ballet genre during this period. The purpose of this research is to study the interplay between music and dance, exploring how they interact on multiple levels to create a complex, multi-sided performance. In this work, the author reveals traditional techniques of adjustment based on the commonness of the measured length of syllables/motives/steps and innovative forms of interaction that manifest themselves in the correlation between the expressive properties of dance with music fabrics metrics, rhythm, texture, and timbres. The distinctive features of creative musical endeavors are analyzed based on historical, historical-typological, and intertextual research methods. The author analyzes the multilayered structure of the musical piece, which consists of interweaving complex visual and music-intonation transformations and the exposition of dance and musics contrasting and symmetrically consistent entities. The author concludes with a special dramatic significance that arises from the fusion of music and choreography found by Cavalieri, symbolizing the process of acquiring the gift of Harmony. The multilayered intertextual crossings form a complex composition that can be referred to as one of the most unique artistic findings of the epoch.
Kireyeva N.Y., Kuts A.L. - J. Offenbachs opera The Tales of Hoffmann: on the question of interpretation. Part 2 pp. 41-58

DOI:
10.7256/2453-613X.2021.2.34930

Abstract: J. Offenbach’s opera “The Tales of Hoffmann” stands out from other compositions of this genre. Because of a complicated story behind, this piece of music has several versions and, consequently, various interpretations of the plot. The opera has also other features which are described in the article. Pride of place goes to the study of sopranos. The authors detect the linkage between the main female characters (Olympia, Antonia and Giulietta). The common thread, uniting Hoffmann’s ladies, is an incidental character Stella. The three stories of the poet’s ladies are the stages of Hoffmann’s relations with Stella. Each scene of “The Tales” contains the heroine’s projection which manifests a definite trait of her character.  The ladies from “The Tales” de facto represent various traits of one girl while being de jure the main characters of each story. The composer portrays them in detail which can be seen through the difference in singing ranges and tessituras (from coloratura to lyrical-dramatic soprano). Tessitura differences along with genre duality of the opera affect the selection of expressive means. Features of opera comique allow embodying Olympia’s hardhearted mechanism from the first scene (by means of onomatopoeic elements expressed in complex coloratura passages and music ornaments). Opera lyrique develops Antonia’s inner conflict from the second scene by means of romance parties and lamentation character of music. This peculiar synthesis of both genres manifests itself in Giulietta with the irony of opera comique hidden under the haze of opera lyrique which corresponds with the essence of the heroine (third scene). The above mentioned peculiarities sometimes do not allow performing soprano parties in accordance with the composer’s idea in which the four heroines should be embodied in one solo singer. However, there’ve been lucky occasions in the history of this opera when the singers managed to implement the composer’s idea.   
Krylovskaya I.I. - The first professional ballet studios and schools in Vladivostok in the early 1920s
pp. 45-57

DOI:
10.7256/2453-613X.2019.3.29094

Abstract: The research subject is the peculiarities of the development of choreography in Vladivostok in the early 1920s. This area of the history of music culture of the Russian Far East is poorly studied. In the result of migration processes after the 1917 revolutions and the Civil War, large creative forces concentrated in Vladivostok. Ballet studios and schools opened, choreography teachers appeared. Heads and students of those schools and studios were actively involving in theatral life of the city, adding variety to the lists of productions. Based on the periodicals, the author reconstructs the events connected with the development of choreography in Vladivostok. The author reveals the names of ballet dancers and choreographers, studies concert events, analyzes journalist materials. The research of the work of choreography schools and studios of Vladivostok of the early 1920s helps conclude about their primary role in the production of integral ballet plays, about the priority in the performance of classical and romantic ballets in Vladivostok carrying on the traditions of the Russian ballet school, about stimulating the appearance of the first critical publications about the ballet in local press. All the above mentioned circumstances promoted and supported the further interest in ballet art in Vladivostok.   
Barsukova O. - The Genre and Style Features of Richard Rodgers' Musical The Sound of Music pp. 54-69

DOI:
10.7256/2453-613X.2020.4.32910

Abstract: The research subject of this article is the musical The Sound of Music by the composer Richard Rodgers and the writer Oscar Hammerstein IIone of the brightest examples of classic Broadway musicals. The author describes the main genre and style, as well as the musicals dramatic peculiarities, and attempts to address the following research objectives: to analyze the pieces narrative and genre components, the main characters intonation complexes, the most significant groups of characters and their vocal techniques, and to trace the influence of Austrian genres in the musicals musical fabric. The author uses the following methods: cultural-historical, comparative analysis, and music-style and music-history analysis. Despite the obvious significance of this piece of music and its thumping success, The Sound of Music hasnt been given enough scholarly attention in scientific literature. The author arrives at the conclusion that the distinct dramatism, engaging plot, intricate music drama, and diverse blend of genre and style are the hallmark features of this musical, which has been instrumental in the musicals enduring success over time.
Melovatskaya A. - The reconstruction of the Naughty Couplets ballet of the choreographer G. Malkhasyants pp. 67-74

DOI:
10.7256/2453-613X.2020.6.34274

Abstract: The research subject is the period of the 1960s - the 1970s - the period of flourishing of the Soviet ballet theatre. During this period, in many theatres of the Soviet Union,  choreographers-pioneers were working whose creativity was based on the commitment to traditions and readiness to propose their own vision of the development of ballet theatre. The article considers the early period of work of one of “the men of the sixties” - a choreographer Gennady Malkhasyants (1937 - 2008). The author of the article reconstructs one of his earliest plays - the ballet “Naughty Couplets” staged in 1974 in Voronezh Opera and Ballet Theatre. The ballet was a part of an one-act ballet recital. The novelty of the research consists in the fact that it introduces into the scholar discourse the materials of the personal archive of the choreographer. The topicality of the research consists in the necessity to analyze the creative work of choreographers-directors, to reconstruct the plays which are not performed any longer and haven’t been recorded. In the 1970s, G. Malkhasyants was developing various choreographer’s techniques and director’s principles of the composition of a dance. So far, the creative work of G. Malkhasyants almost hasn’t been studied. The knowledge of the materials and the creative process of G. Malkhasyants gives the opportunity to trace back the main tendencies and, probably, to find the new ways of development of the modern art of choreography.   
Miozzi F. - Russia-Italy cooperation at the ballet scene: historical, socio-cultural, and critical context pp. 67-80

DOI:
10.7256/2453-613X.2021.1.34770

Abstract: The author studies the problem of intercultural cooperation between Russia and Italy in the field of ballet art. Since this type of interaction has been ongoing for several centuries, the research is divided into two vectors: the historical-cultural and the critical ones. Besides, the author considers an important issue of the origins of the cultural cooperation stemming from the opera art, traditional for Italy. The article considers not only the chronological component of Russia-Italy cooperation during the 18th - the 21st centuries, but also explains (in the socio-cultural and critical ways) the processes of surge and slump of interest in this form of cultural communication. The author detects and explains a unique pattern - the initial priority of Italians at the Russian scene of the 19th century, and the following radical change of this influence - a triumphal conquering of Europe by the Russian masters, whose talent is still appreciated. The scientific novelty of the research consists in the fact that for the first time attention is not only given to the very historical chronology of the visits of Italian dancers to the Russian Imperial Ballet Scene, but also the dynamics of this process is explained. Moreover, the article is the first work focusing on the change of a locomotive component in the system of the Italy-Russia cultural exchange which  took place in the late 20th century. Thus, the scientific novelty and importance of the research consist in the attempt to study the process of intercultural cooperation in its development from the 18th century to the present moment. Such an approach allows detection the historical, socio-cultural and critical components, and helps to reveal the topicality of this problem for the modernity, when art is still a soft mechanism of, among other things, political and geographical interaction between countries, forming a “cultural portrayal” of the country on the world map.   
Zykov A.I. - Directors Working Methods in Drama Theatre: Music in a Play (The Theme of Transformation) pp. 75-85

DOI:
10.7256/2453-613X.2020.3.32642

Abstract: The research object of this article is the music embellishment of a dramatic play as one of the key elements in creating a theatrical piece of work's single text. The author is the first to consider the formation of musical space as a directors method of creating a stage performance. The need to study it is determined by the movement of the modern theatre towards musicalizationthe formation of the stage as a single sound space and the shifting of the functions of a background music writer to the director. The research subject is the use of background music and the interpretations of the main musical themes, the detection of the peculiarities of their functions, and an attempt to define the operating name of a directors method. To achieve this goal, the author uses the observation method and studies the production of the play Krechinskys Wedding at Penza Drama Theatre as a director, a choreographer, and an author of the background music. The analysis of the use of background music, which is undertaken for the first time within the framework of theatre drama, shows that music, applied in this algorithm, performs various functions. It creates the atmosphere of action, becomes a plays full-fledged text, and an instrument of the authors translation of a literary work into a theatre-stage language. At the same time, it allows the music space to become integral, thus following the trend of drama theatre moving towards its musicalization. The author suggests naming the directors method the transformation of a musical theme.
Lavrova S.V., Novik Y.O. - The internal space and plastic communication in Steve Paxton's contact improvisation pp. 78-85

DOI:
10.7256/2453-613X.2019.5.30897

Abstract: The article studies the phenomenon of contact improvisation founded by the choreographer Steve Paxton. The contact improvisation technique is very popular today, being founded in America in the 1970s. Steve Paxton defined contact improvisation as a formation of a “spherical space” which is “the result of so many changes in spatial and kinesthetic orientation in a short time”. In the plastic of contact improvisation, both an individual body and an interpersonal system can take a metastable position. We can observe the same phenomenon in other improvisational experiments. The main research method is comparative analysis of philosophical roots of contact improvisation, particularly the connection with one of the postulates of A. Bergson holding that “all division of matter into independent bodies with absolutely determined outlines is an artificial division”, and the connection with the ideas of modern cognitive scientists and psychologists. Comparing contact improvisation with an equivalent phenomenon of ensemble improvisation in the works of Stockhausen “From the Seven Days”, the authors conclude that in both cases, the starting point of improvisation is the projection of individual peculiarities of physical conditions of the participants (heart rate, breath, the specificity of reflecting the initial images of movement in the improvisation and other aspects).   
Kireyeva N.Y., Kuts A.L. - J. Offenbachs opera The Tales of Hoffmann: on the question of interpretation. Part 1 pp. 81-101

DOI:
10.7256/2453-613X.2021.1.34909

Abstract: The opera by Jacques Offenbach “The Tales of Hoffmann” is a unique phenomenon in the history of the opera genre attracting the attention of interpreters and researchers. Dealing with the text, musicians face particular problems caused by an unusual story behind the opera and its other peculiarities. The purpose of this article is to study the specificity of the opera at the literary, music, and stage levels using  the hermeneutical approach. The three independent original works of Hoffmann were combined in a grand drama composed by J. Barbier and M. Carré, and then in a libretto (J. Barbier) by means of deconstruction of romantic stereotypes of the main character, which reveals the peculiarities of the opera under consideration and explains the topicality of this research. The music analysis is aimed at the detection of expressive means through which the composer had managed to explain the idea of the authors of the literary text and get it across to the audience. The key formative way of building a music drama is a “romantic irony” (M. Ya. Kuklinskaya). That’s where the genre dualism of the opera under consideration comes from, which manifested itself in the form of the synthesis of the genres opera comique and opera lyrique. The authors also detect the interaction of elements of both genres helping to create an unusual atmosphere of the opera, and the play with the audience, allowing manipulating the spectators’ expectations, which is more typical of operetta than of opera genre.   
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