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Andrushchenko E.

«School of Rock» by A. Lloyd Webber: towards the problem of interactions between «rock-operality» and «musicality» in the contemporary light-genre music theatre

The present article is devoted to some synthesizing processes in the light-genre music theatre of the 2000s–2010s. Among others, these processes are characterised by the genre of musical. In the researcher’s opinion, A. Lloyd Webber’s creative work is one of the representative phenomena reflecting the dynamics of this genre development in the present. His latest musical-theatrical project «School of Rock» (2015) keeps up successive relations with his well-known works of the latest third of the 20th century and engraves a peculiar «conceptual improvement» in various dialogues between a musical and a rock opera. The pronounced postmodern intention inherent in «School of Rock» to be favourable to the process. This intention does not only cause the «external» subject-dramaturgical specificity but also predetermines unquestionable supremacy of rock stylistics in the «musical» artistic space of this project. In particular, such moments are greatly significant as a positive appreciation of rock music playing in the capacity of creative activities (this appreciation is purposefully approved during the performance), and «complementary» attending of the most important idioms of popular and rock music (this attending is demonstrated in the culmination scenes of the given musical), and the analogous «integration» of styles per se in the «auto-quotations» from A. Lloyd Webber’s works of the 1970–1980s.
The analytical observations adduced by the researcher allow ascertain that the «rock musical» phenomenon in A. Lloyd Webber’s contemporary interpretation undoubtedly correlates with the main tendencies peculiar to the light-genre music theatre of the postmodern age. The first of these tendencies is relatively named «rock-operality» and implies to begin with the «total polystylisticality». The latter means the inclusion of the utmost extensive «diapason» of genre and style elements. Such elements are adapted according to the level of mass audience perception. «Rock-operality» is also characterised by specific imagery-emotional atmosphere raising a tempo-rhythmical modus («drive») of a musical performance to a new level. Another tendency under the name «musicality» aims at building an «actual» stage impersonation of musical-theatrical projects as well as a maximum technological equipment of the audio and video lines in the producer’s exact «version», etc. In the researcher’s opinion, in the future integrative reciprocities between «rock-operality» and «musicality» tendencies may contribute to the development of large-scale «rock-opera-musical» works personifying the «universal artistic synthesis» of the postmodern age.

Key words

light-genre music theatre, Andrew Lloyd Webber, «School of Rock», theatre of musical, genre and style interactions, «rock-operality» and «musicality» tendencies.

For citation

Andrushchenko E. «School of Rock» by A. Lloyd Webber: towards the problem of interactions between «rock-operality» and «musicality» in the contemporary light-genre music theatre // South-Russian musical anthology. 2019. № 4. PP. 48–53.