published in Research Catalogue
This essay looks to the idea that removing aesthetic character from art provokes an inherent natural way of sensing objects and events from our minds. This concept sees controlled meaningful content in art as the basis of intellectual values that work to suppress a view that only comes to mind when these values are absent from our thoughts. I am looking to see art as a tool that can be used to give recall of an innate inborn form of awareness that we inherit from our animal origins but now keep dormant in day-to-day awareness, and my assertion is that we have evolved to suppress this original experience through controlling how we create art through intelligent learned understanding. If an artist is unaware of this they will be working to suppress, rather than reveal, these old dormant powers of perception. I have used A Note on the physical object hypothesis by Richard Wollheim as the basis of this enquiry, and I am looking to understand that when an artist removes all controlled ways of working and intellectual ideas from what they do – by working through chance and accident – the end result creates a catalyst that triggers the return of our old ability to sense through animal instinct.
part of KC Research Portal
What was Richard Strauss’s intention behind his Tone Poem Ein Heldenleben? How can we as performers approach his intent?
My research started from learning in depth about Strauss as a composer/conductor, and Strauss as a man. I read many biographies of Strauss, which were written in diverse perspectives. Also, I took a class by Katarina Markovic on Post-Romanticism, which featured music of Bruckner, Mahler and Strauss few years ago, so the knowledge that I gain from that course was an inspiration for this research. After I learned more about Strauss, I started to study on the performance aspect of his music; how Strauss’s personality, thoughts or interests can be transformed when we perform his music. This was done by comparing the recordings and studying the score in depth.
Underneath the autobiographic quality, Richard Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben expresses the composer’s worldview, which was deeply influenced by Nietzsche. Many performances of the piece only emphasize on the autobiographic element; therefore, this tone poem is often misunderstood as an egoistic piece. Rather than over romanticized, glorifying approach, more Classical and lighter approach is appropriate for this piece to bring out the positive Nietzschean attitude. In my presentation, I will be comparing Strauss’s own recording and the recordings by other conductors to show how lightly Strauss approaches this music, and how much of the “tradition”, which is established over the years are not true to Strauss’s intent.
part of KC Research Portal
How can alto castrato, Greek mythological roles in G. Handel’s works, be interpreted on the modern stage, based on the mythological literary sources?
I looked into Handel’s works for the leading alto castrato roles which are based on Greek mythology. I then examined the tradition of using mythology in opera, the conventions in Handel’s time regarding the use of libretti, acting on the operatic stage and information on castrato performances. Three case studies, Admeto in ‘Admeto, re di Tessaglia’, Egeo in ‘Teseo’ and Hercules in the one act dramatic cantata ‘The choice of Hercules’ helped me draw my conclusions.
An interpretation of a mythological operatic role based on Greek literary sources is a process that starts by identifying the myth on which the libretto is based on, gathering information about the character in the opera based on their music, their role, actions, conflicts followed by searching for available mythological source material and studying it. Gradually, the character of the operatic role and the role in the source material become one fascinating persona and the interpreter is able to draw the character’s universe according to the method of David Ostwald in Acting for Singers (2005). This process clarifies the opera’s theme, the character’s objectives, subtext, conflicts and enables the performer to apply different facets of the same personality in the various scenes, develop relationships with theatrical props and find contemporary analogies of the story. It is not only historically meaningful but also dramatically justified to follow a process which builds an interpretation on classical literary sources. A singer benefits from the depth the character acquires and is able to support a vocally convincing performance by creating a believable character.
artists using the research catalogue