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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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A Conversation with Pietro D’Agostino, Video Director at the Gran Teatre del Liceu What is the process of preparing for filming? I don’t have much time to prepare an opera recording. I begin thinking of the shots with the first rehearsals on stage. Then, I only have two- to-three weeks to prepare my story-board for the recording. They are very full working-weeks: seven days a week, ten-to-fourteen hours a day, but it is still a short time. We don’t have the chance, as other production members do, to work with it from its conception. We al- ways come behind the opera production. Basically, I go to rehearsals to get to know all the main scene movements and secondary reactions. Eventually, I know them by heart. Even though every performance is different, it is incredible how much singers repeat themselves in the details of their acting. This is probably due to the fact that music gives them a very strong structure. At this time, I begin recording something on video too. Since Liceu can count on permanent video broadcasting facilities, I am lucky enough to get to use several cameras and begin testing camera positions and angles. As we all know, opera displays itself not only in time, but also in space, which means that further actions are taking place at the same time in different spaces. On the other hand, video develops its structure only on a time-line (mainly). What is important, then, is to make the right choices to...

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