Artistic and documentary practices in contemporary music theatre (On the example of John Adams and Steve Reich`s works)
The article examines the influence of documentary practices on the contemporary music theatre. By putting musical art into the global cultural context, the author states that the invasion of documented reality into practically every art field of the 20th-21st centuries is an important tendency provoked by relevant social issues. Formation of new genres in the area of visual arts, such as documentary theatre and cinematography led to the development of specific techniques and methods that characterise them. The article observes documentary practices in their connection with music theatre. Such operas as “Nixon in China”, “The Death of Klonghoffer” by John Adams and “The Cave”, “Three Tales” by Steve Reich show how the classical model of the genre can be transformed under the influence of documentary plots. The author identifies signs of different documentary films methods such as areportage and facts reconstruction in operas of J. Adams, and analyses the dramaturgy of action with the crisis situation and the confrontation of antagonistic forces as the basis of their plots. S. Reich’s video-operas reveal another way of interactions between operatic and documentary practices. The core of their scene action constitutes not a facts reconstruction, but a straight demonstration of documents and video-interviews. Therefore, the analysis demonstrates how music can intensify and deepen the message of a documentary source what makes the relevance and perspectives of the documentary music theatre obvious.
documentary music theatre, opera, John Adams, Steve Reich, dramaturgy of documentary film.
Shornikova А. Artistic and documentary practices in contemporary music theatre (On the example of John Adams and Steve Reich`s works) // South-Russian musical anthology. 2019. № 4. P. 26–33.