Stevens Discusses Dissertation Project on Musicology Now

From : Musicology Now

Dissertation Digest: Portraying the Anti-Heroine in Contemporary Opera

By Nicholas Stevens

In September 2017, I pasted a link to an interview into an email, and sent it to my former doctoral advisor with the subject line “!!!!!!!!” In the interview, the film director Darren Aronofsky had hinted that he might pursue an adaptation of his surrealist horror hit Mother!: an opera, to be scored by the Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhansson. Two men, coming together to depict the abuse and murder of a woman in an operatic allegory of the misdeeds of humanity – I had seen this movie before, so to speak. Just as the concluding minutes of Mother! imply unending repetition of the film’s grisly scenario, so did Aronofsky’s statement suggest, in light of my recently completed research, that the trend I had been examining might renew itself for years to come. To put it plainly: expect opera’s undoing of women, named as such by Catherine Clément in the context of the historical operatic canon, to continue and even intensify in new works by living composers.<1> Expect these new works to reproduce familiar musical and dramatic contours, no matter how subversive the intent.  Read the full article at Musicology Now