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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Shared Dramatic Pacing in Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers
by Skelley-Wohlschlager, Cynthia, D.M.A., James Madison University, 2020, 124; 27964623
Abstract (Summary)

Jake Heggie collaborated with Terrence McNally and Gene Sheer to infuse 21st-century topics into the chamber opera Three Decembers. This document traces the development of the Madeline Mitchell motif, followed by illuminating the concept of shared dramatic pacing through the use of score identifiers. Fueled by research into Heggie's compositional process, via personal interviews with the composer, it defines an effective method for character development, as well as provides suggestions for the successful preparation of a Jake Heggie opera. For this document, the concept of shared dramatic pacing refers to the time on stage during a performance that is defined by collective decisions. Shared dramatic pacing emerges through the rhythm of the text, the length of pauses, the tempi, the duration of phrases, and the fermatas. The responsibility of dramatic pacing in an opera like Three Decembers has a rather long list of participants: the composer, the playwright, the librettist, the performers (who are often influenced by teachers and coaches), the stage director, the music director/coach, the conductor, the orchestral players, and the technical crew. Section I focuses on the backgrounds of the artistic team, highlighting how they crossed paths. Section II focuses on Heggie's musical style and motifs. Section III focuses on the successful preparation of a Jake Heggie opera.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: McMillan, Kevin
Commitee: Rierson, Don, Walker, Jamison
School: James Madison University
Department: Music
School Location: United States -- Virginia
Source: DAI-A 82/3(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Music, Performing arts education, Pedagogy
Keywords: 21st century, AIDS, Directing, McNally, Motif, Opera
Publication Number: 27964623
ISBN: 9798672126579
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