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Opera and Video

Technology and Spectatorship

Edited By Héctor Pérez

The contributions in this volume reflect the efforts of musicology to understand a hybrid area with a fascinating evolution. They aim to address the relationship between opera and audiovisual technology from its origins to today by offering the results of a balanced critical and innovative approach. The reader interested in opera, aesthetics, narrative or transmediality will find concrete approaches devoted to an unexplored diversity of aspects with an impact on the narrative conditions in which we watch opera on screen. The variety of perspectives shows how original methodological approaches are able to design a new map of the main transmedial problems of opera in TV, DVD and even in phonography. The book offers not only isolated theoretical contributions but seeks a connection of them with significant practice oriented approaches coming from the fields of video direction and composition.


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DELPHINE VINCENT“Temps Spatialisé”: Opera Relays and the Sense of Temporality 71


“Temps spatialisé”: Opera Relays and the Sense of Temporality1 DELPHINE VINCENT Temporality implies the sense of running time. The time of the diege- sis, lived or not in succession, raises narratological questions as dif- ferent conventions are used across diverse genres and in the media about how to tell a story. Are the ways in which temporality is em- ployed in the genres of opera and film the same? And how does the filming of an opera change our perception of temporality? I. Opera, cinema and temporality The spectator in an opera house always sees a story moving forward. Therefore it is possible to miss some events (for example, what Tosca accomplishes after Scarpia’s murder and before rejoining Mario in Sant’Angelo Castle), nonetheless the spectator always watches a story progressing on the timeline (even in operas with a structure based on disjunct tableaux as in Debussy’s Pélleas et Mélisande). Even Wag- ner, when he imagines the antecedents to Siegfried, decides to show them to the spectator (in only two new libretti, Das Rheingold and Die Walküre). However this does not mean that opera is unable to play with the past. 1 The discussions during the International Workshop on Opera and Video in Valencia (22–23 March 2010) organised by Héctor Julio Pérez-López contribute to this article and I would thank the participants for it. Moreover, I am grateful to Luca Zoppelli for his inspiring comments. Eventually, I thank Sarah Lambert for her “British reading...

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