I am about to set off to the UK, where I will be undertaking my IRC funded training at the Urban Research Centre with my colleague Ben Spatz. I will spend 10 days working on performer-centered theater methods, and devising ways to apply that experience and knowledge to my own embodied research on monodrama. During my training, I hope to be able to resume practices and re-establish focus on my practical work away from the intensive writing and applications that has characterized this very long winter. My first week in Huddersfield will terminate with my partecipation as a speaker to the inaugural conference of the Northern Opera Research Network, which will be hosted on 22nd and 23rd of April at Huddersfield University and University of Leeds, and will feature operatic performance besides a number of very engaging papers. While you read the abstract of my paper below, I look forward to my days of training in the UK, and to the potential developments disclosing on my project. Follow my updates on this space!
Monodramatic Immersions: Repositioning the Solo Performer’s Embodied Voice.
Dr Francesca Placanica, Maynooth University
Opera in performance is the multilayered result of a complex of authorities involved in the production process. The packaging and marketing of the operatic repertoire stipulates a set of patriarchal political dynamics that are normative of the whole ‘operatic experience’ (Pratt, 2009). Within this consolidated mechanism, the performer remains relegated to a subaltern and somewhat reified position, rather than conceived as structural to the total ‘operatic experience’. Whereas instead the operatic embodied voice stands as perhaps the most crucial constitutive element of opera, operatic productions refrain to conceive the performer’s body and her/his unique utterance as a structural and potentially creative agency of its own (Cavarero, 2005; Novak, 2015). My artistic research project ‘En-gendering monodrama: artistic research and experimental production’ repositions the solo performer as a totalizing living agency of musical monodrama. Reporting from my own immersive embodied practice as an artistic researcher, I advocate the inherently performative nature of this repertoire, thus aiming to re-define and re-locate the role of the solo female performer, and to test new performative devices and dramatic possibilities in the repertoire. Further, by establishing functional connections with current practice, I seek to enrich and challenge contemporary conceptions of the solo female performer more widely.