Thesis Info

Thesis Title
Opera in the Age of Media
Jelena Novak
2nd Author
3rd Author
Master of Arts in Art Theory and Theory of Media, PhD candidate at ASCA
Number of Pages
University of Arts, Belgrade, Serbia
Thesis Supervisor
PhD Misko Suvakovic
Supervisor e-mail
Other Supervisor(s)
Language(s) of Thesis
Department / Discipline
Interdisciplinary postgraduate studies, Art Theory and Theory of Media
Languages Familiar to Author
English, Portuguese, Serbian, Croatian
URL where full thesis can be found
opera, postopera, postminimalism, media, electronic reproduction, spectacle, mass art,
Abstract: 200-500 words
"Opera in the Age of Media" deals with substantial changes experienced in the opera world during the last thirty years. It is a survey of those contemporary music theatre works that establish a specific, strategically ordered relationship with the mass media-dominated society in which they were created. The resources of advanced technology and mass communication methods are interweaved in operatic structures to the point at which opera starts to behave in the manner of the mass-media. "Opera in the Age of Media" is also the first critical reconstruction of the recent ‘post–history’ of opera. It discusses works of the most internationally influential contemporary opera composers and directors - from Philip Glass / Robert Wilson to Louis Andriessen / Peter Greenaway, John Adams / Peter Sellars and Steve Reich / Beryl Korot – as well as those seminal works, like Michel van der Aa’s One, which have significantly transformed the world of opera in the age of media. The operas of these artists refer to the rituals of a consumerist late-capitalistic society through which the boundaries between ‘mass-culture’ and ‘high art’ are steadily erased. It is also an account of transgressive operatic achievements, since Glass's and Wilson's Einstein on the Beach (1976) appeared as key moment of dissension in relation to the Western modernist operatic tradition. The thesis explores themes raised by, and addressed by, the music theatre created in era of extremely developed technology. It engages with the polemic concerning the ‘death’ of the diva, the accessibility of post-minimalist opera and the deconstruction of operatic representation. With chapters on opera and its electronic/digital reproducibility and opera as media spectacle, "Opera in the Age of Media" shows how digital video, film, television, DVD, CD-ROMs, and virtual reality have transformed the world of opera.