External, internal, hidden… (About the conflict in opera)
Among the theoretical problems of operatic dramaturgy the conflict remains a central problem. The conflict in the opera-drama is rightly called the spring, stimulus for development. In some works, where the conflict parties are clearly differentiated and polarized, and expressed by two contrasting imagery and intonation spheres, its identification is not difficult. The article draws attention to the operas, where the general conflict is not obvious – it is lost among the many dramatic lines and private conflicts or served in a disguised form, or non-manifested through the clash of antagonistic musical images. Examples of dramatic decisions where a conflict of higher order can be «lost» (for the mind of the analyst) among the many local conflicts, can serve as a «Mermaid» by Dargomyzhsky, «Aida» by Verdi, «The Tsar’s Bride» by Rimsky-Korsakov. In other cases, there is a certain intonation and imaginative opposition, and it carried through the entire work but not on the surface. These are, in particular, «La Traviata» by Verdi, «Eugene Onegin» by Tchaikovsky. The position recently argued in literary and theatre criticism is advanced as one of the methodological foundations of the article. If conflict was interpreted earlier only as a dramatic clash of intentions, ideas, wills of characters, then actual conceptions permit to perceive some conflict in the intense experience of some disharmony. Similar to it, the conflict in music can be shown, firstly, in opposition of various contrasting images, their fight and interaction. Secondly, life contradictions may be implemented by means of a single intonation spheres – music of openly dramatic character with its sharpness, intensity of development, internal tensions. Special significance is attached to overtures and introductions to operas which, by virtue of its symphonic-generalizing character, often serve as «keys» to detection of the leading conflict of work.
opera-drama, operatic dramaturgy, types of conflict, intonation spheres, overtures, introductions.