Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Authorial Voice and Agency in the Operas of Richard Strauss: A Study of Self-Referentiality
by Easterling, Douglas, M.M., University of Cincinnati, 2014, 117; 1561131
Abstract (Summary)

Self-referentiality plays an important, but often overlooked, role in the works of Richard Strauss. The broad category of self-reference includes works of metafiction, which literary critic Patricia Waugh has defined as fiction that “self-consciously and systematically draws attention to its status as an artifact in order to pose questions about the relationship between fiction and reality” and “explores the theory of writing fiction through the practice of writing fiction.”1 Additionally, Werner Wolf has conceptualized self-reference to include not only “intra-systemic relationship(s),” but also intertextual and intermedial references.2 The relationships and references included in Wolf’s conception of self-reference allow Strauss, his collaborators, and later interpreters to insert their own voices into operas and, arguably, even give themselves agency in the drama. This thesis examines this voice and agency in order to arrive at a deeper understanding of Strauss’s aesthetics and those of his librettists and later interpreters with particular attention to three operas: Ariadne auf Naxos (the 1912 and 1916 versions), Intermezzo (1924), and Capriccio (1942). Additionally, I examine Christof Loy’s 2011 production of Die Frau ohne Schatten (1919) as an example of complex layers self-reference added to a work by a later interpreter and as a suggestion for future avenues of research regarding operatic self-referentiality.

1Patricia Waugh, Metafiction: The Theory and Practice of Self-Conscious Fiction (London: Methuen & Company, 1984), 2. 2Werner Wolf, preface to Self-Reference in Literature and Music, ed. Walter Bernhart and Werner Wolf (Amsterdam: Rudopi, 2010), vii.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Joe, Jeongwon
Commitee: Griffiths, Kenneth, McClung, Bruce
School: University of Cincinnati
Department: Music History
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: MAI 53/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Music, Theater, Modern history
Keywords: Ariadne auf Naxos, Capriccio, Frau ohne Schatten, Germany, Intermezzo, Self-reference, Strauss, Richard
Publication Number: 1561131
ISBN: 978-1-321-05758-4
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