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Kiseeva E., Kiseev V.

Avant-garde traditions in the operatic creativity by modern american composers

The article discusses the most important principles of opera of the leading American composers John Cage, Philip Glass, Stephen Reich, Meredith Monk. Their works became vivid and unique phenomena of the world musical and theatre culture of the late 20th – early 21st centuries, and absorbed features of traditional and new artistic practices, developed in the 1970s and 2000s.
The diversity of style quest in the opera house of the indicated period leads to difficulties to find a common denominator. It is rather necessary to talk about a kind of stylistic polyphony in relation to trends in the development of modern musical and theatrical art. Nevertheless, we can note a number of main lines that have influenced the formation of new Opera aesthetics in the works of contemporary composers in the United States. It is the avant-garde in its American refraction with a characteristic tilt towards experimentalism, and minimalism.
Artistic principles that were new to the opera genre were formed in the context of the avant-garde boom of the 1970s, when artistic principles, previously developed in related arts, influenced the formation of new forms of musical theatre. The fruitful cooperation and creative interchange of composers, theatre experimental directors, artists and video artists who adhere to avant-garde ideology contributed to the introduction of new methods of working with musical material, dramatic and compositional patterns in the opera house.
The compositions considered in this article demonstrate new aesthetics of the opera performance, its distinctive properties being the cultivation of the principle of direct interaction between art and reality, the emphasis on the viewer’s special role in creating the semantic field of the composition, comprehension of the creative act as a process of studying the boundaries of art and their extension.

Key words

modern operatic theatre, renewal of the opera, avant-garde traditions.

For citation

Kiseeva E., Kiseev V. Avant-garde traditions in the operatic creativity by modern american composers // South-Russian musical anthology. 2019. № 4. P. 34–41.