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 their choreographic projections
pp. 1-13


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


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 Massines music laboratory: on the occasion of the 125th birth anniversary of the distinguished choreographer pp. 1-17


Abstract: The author of the article considers the musical component of the artistic work of a distinguished choreographer of the Russian emigre community Leonide Massine (1895 - 1979), whose 125th birth anniversary is celebrated by the global theatre community in 2020. The author notes the key stages of the choreographer’s education, describes the range of his music interests, studies the techniques of working with the music of the ballets created. Using the historical and typological methods, the author aims at studying the stages of formation of the choreographer’s music matureness and his own style. The author considers the circumstances of Massine’s cooperation with the contemporary composers - Manuel de Falla, Erik Satie, Sergei Prokofiev, Paul Hindemith. Special attention is given to the process of establishment of the system of artistic techniques of work with music in the choreographer’s cooperation with Igor Stravinski on the ballets “Polichinelle” and “Le Sacre du printemps”. The author also touches upon the issues of Massin’s attitude toward such fields of music expressiveness as rhythm, dynamics, and timbre. The article studies the choreographer’s methods of work with symphonic music, analyzes the methods of achieving the music-plastic synthesis in the stage solutions of choreographic symphonies by Massin: “Destiny” (1933) with music of Tchaikovsky Symphony No.5, “ Choreartium” (1933) with music of Brahms’s Fourth Symphony, “Symphonie Fantastique“ (1936) with music of Berlioz’s symphony of the same name. The author concludes that the laws of music composition and drama served as a source of artistic renewal for the choreographer, enrichment of his author’s style and development of the intellectual nature of his choreography.  
Breytburg V.V. - Light operas by W.S. Gilbert and A. Sullivan: the characteristics of works and the peculiarities of the performing style
pp. 11-19


Abstract: The object of research in this article is a separate branch of music theatre - the English Savoy operas. These are predominantly comic operas by W.S. Gilbert and A. Sullivan. Having the traits of a ballad opera, operetta and musical, 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 had been put on from 1877 till 1998. Consequently, Gilbert’s and Sullivan’s theatre, summing the achievements of its predecessors, at the same time contributed original traits to the further development of music theatre; it raised operetta to a much higher layer and became a starting point for new genres. Specific and severe requirements were imposed by the composers on the artists. The purpose of the research is to study the peculiarities of the performing style of operettas by Gilbert and Sullivan. The scientific value of the materials of the article consists in the accentuation of an original aspect of the research - the Savoy opera performing style, the generalization of sketchy data on this problem, the introduction of new sources. The conceptual elements of compositions, which are the core of a theatre-music image, take on special value. It is a dramaturgic component that determines vocal implementation, influences the attitude to diction and phrasing, and the plastic pattern of the role.The materials of the article have methodical importance for the modern performers playing in operettas and popular musicals.  
Zhang H. - The interpretation of the role of Boris Godunov by the Bulgarian opera stars: B. Christoff and N. Ghiaurov
pp. 11-18


Abstract: The research subject is the interpretation of the role of Boris Godunov in the same-name opera by M.P. Mussorgsky by the two Bulgarian opera stars B. Christoff and N. Ghiaurov, and their approach to the work on this role. The author’s goal is to reveal the main semantic emphases of the interpretation of the leading role of “Boris Godunov”, and to reach this goal, the author analyzes the reviews and essays of opera critics, the biographies of the singers, as well as the memoirs of their contemporaries and the interviews with the singers. The topicality of the research consists in the necessity to study the global performance heritage of the opera stage that would serve as a basis of the new worthwhile interpretations. The author concludes that Christoff puts emphasis on lofty and exalted aspirations of the tsar who, being a dreamer and a knight, was trying to praise and strengthen his state, but fell victim to boyar opposition and the inexorable course of Russia’s history. In his turn, Ghiaurov doesn’t condone Godunov, however, forming an image of an inspiring awe and admiration tsar  - monumental, powerful and proud. While Christoff, subsequent to Mussorgsky, saw Tsar Boris as a person dashed by power, Ghiaurov, like Pushkin, was closer to the image of a tsar who had subdued all human traits in himself for the sake of his primary goal - power.  
Sokolova A.N. - An opera experiment or a new genre specimen?
pp. 22-31


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.  
Devyatova O.L. - Russian King Lear of the 21st century: cultural traditions and innovations in the opera by Sergey Slonimsky pp. 26-41


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. 
Chupova A. - Infinito Nero by Salvatore Sciarrino: on the phenomenon of invisible action
pp. 36-49


Abstract: Italian composer Salvatore Sciarrino (born 1947), a philosopher and an esthete whose music experimentalizes with audibility threshold, is one of the leaders of vanguard music culture of the 20th - 21st centuries. An artistic concept of the author is developing within the framework of postserial searching defined as “music ecology” and “ecology of listening”. Despite the wide recognition his music has received in Europe and US, Sciarrino’s artistic work is still poorly studied in Russia. This is especially the case of his opera works which draw attention of the leading opera houses and become significant music events. The topicality of the research is determined by the necessity to study the composer’s works and his philosophic and esthetic views in detail. Sciarrino’s experiments in the field of music theatre are connected with the idea of azione invisible/”invisible action”, which is the research subject if this article in the context of the composer’s artistic concept. The research object is Sciarrino’s opera “Infinito Nero” (1998). The research methodology is based on the complex approach which includes the systems, interpretational, and musical and analytical methods. Analyzing the peculiarities of the libretto, dramaturgy and its acoustic realization, the author detects the distinctive features of an “invisible action”: the absence of consequential development of the plot, the levelling of a visual component, the ambiguity of identification of the character, the vagueness of space and time, the modeling of a sonorous environment in which the microscopic acoustic objects with ecological origins and their transformation become of primary importance. An “invisible action” is defined by the dramaturgy of listening and the new type of listener’s comprehension in which the process of visualization of acoustic images instigates the meaning of all that’s happening.  
Bezuglaia G.A. - Apollo's gift of Harmony and Rhythm: Emilio de' Cavalieris ballo O che nuovo miracolo
pp. 38-53


Abstract: The article analyzes the music-dance interaction in Emilio de' Cavalieri’s ballo “O che nuovo miracolo” (“Oh what a new miracle”, Florence, 1589). The topicality of the research is determined by the interest in the epoch of generation and formation of the theatre ballet show genre. The purpose of the research is to study the music-plastic ties manifesting themselves at different levels of a form implemented in a complex multi-sided interaction. The author reveals traditional techniques of adjustment based on the commonness of measured length of syllables/motives/steps, and innovative forms of interaction manifesting themselves in the correlation between the plastic properties of a dance with metrics, rhythm, texture and timbres of the music fabric. The analysis of the peculiarities of musical creative work is based on the historical, historical-typological and intertextual research methods. The author analyzes the multilayered structure of the piece of music consisting in the rotation of complex visual and music-intonation transformations and in the explication of contrasting and symmentrically consistent entities of dance and music. The author concludes about a special dramatic meaning gained by the form of music-choreography explication, found by Cavalieri, symbolizing the process of acquiring “the gift of Harmony”. Multilayered intertextual crossings formed a complex composition that can be referred to as one of unique artistic findings of the epoch.  
Krylovskaya I.I. - The first professional ballet studios and schools in Vladivostok in the early 1920s
pp. 45-57


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. - Genre and style peculiarities of The Sound of Music musical by R. Rodgers
pp. 54-69


Abstract: The research subject is the musical by the composer Richard Rodgers and the book writer Oscar Hammerstein II “The Sound of Music” - one of the bright examples of classic Broadway musicals. The author describes the main genre and style and dramatic peculiarities of the musical and attempts to solve the following research tasks: to analyze the narrative and genre components of the piece, the intonation complexes of the main characters and the most significant groups of characters and vocal techniques, and to trace back the influence of Austrian national genres on the music fabric of the musical. The author uses the following methods: cultural-historical, comparative analysis, and the methods of music-style and music-history analysis. Despite the obvious significance of this piece of music and its thumping success, the musical “The Sound of Music” hasn’t been studied thoroughly enough in the scientific literature. The author arrives at the conclusion that the special dramatism, the bright plot, the developed music drama, and the multifaceted genre and style alligation are the peculiarity of the musical and form that unique quality that brought success in the past and still makes the musical successful.  
Melovatskaya A. - The reconstruction of the Naughty Couplets ballet of the choreographer G. Malkhasyants pp. 67-74


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.  
Zykov A.I. - Directors methods of work in a drama theatre: music in a play (the theme transformation)
pp. 75-85


Abstract: The research object is the music decoration of a dramatic play as one of the key elements of creating a single text of a theatrical piece of work. The author is the first to consider the formation of a musical space as a director’s method of creating a stage performance, and the need to study it is determined by the movement of the modern theatre towards musicalization - the formation of a single sound space of the stage business and the shifting of the functions of an author of background music to the director. The research subject is the use of background music and the interpretations of the main music themes, the detection of peculiarities of their functions and an attempt to define the operating name of a director’s method. To achieve this goal, the author uses the method of overt observation and studies the production of the play “Krechinsky’s 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 the theatre drama art, shows that music, applied in this algorithm, performs various functions: creates the atmosphere of action, becomes a full fledged “text” of a play, and an instrument of the author’s “translation” of a literary work into a theatre-stage language. At the same time, it allows making the music space integral thus following the trend of the movement of a drama theatre towards its musicalization. The author suggests naming the director’s method a “transformation of a music theme”.  
Lavrova S.V., Novik Y.O. - The internal space and plastic communication in the contact improvisation of Steve Paxton pp. 78-85


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).  
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