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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

From monody to modernity: An examination of the connection between early Baroque opera and contemporary musical theatre
by Miller, Lorin, M.A., California State University, Dominguez Hills, 2014, 61; 1525619
Abstract (Summary)

Monody in musical dramatic presentations emanates from an early Baroque opera genesis and exists in multiple forms in the musical theater of today. By examining the Baroque characteristics of monody within the opera genre, a direct comparison between Monteverdi's opera Orfeo (1607) and Schönberg's musical Les Miserables (1985) can be established. This correlation becomes pronounced upon the exploration of four specific examples: through the implementation of recitative and aria, the interdependent use of duet and chorus with the solo voice, the innovative incorporation of atypical tonalities within the melodic line, and the inventive application of instrumentation to enhance vocal expression in each work. Just as Monteverdi designed his recitative to express the emotion of the libretto, so Schönberg composes dynamic, emotional songs to enhance the epic story of Les Miserables. Though composed centuries apart, both works employ similar melodic, rhythmic, harmonic and orchestral constructs, confirming a similar genesis.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Shannon, Jacqueline
School: California State University, Dominguez Hills
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 53/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Music, Theater, Theater History
Keywords: Baroque, Les Miserables, Monteverdi, Musical theater, Opera, Orfeo
Publication Number: 1525619
ISBN: 978-1-321-09869-3
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