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The Nightingale and Other Short Fables: Co-authoring Atypical Opera

  • Melissa Poll
Chapter
Part of the Adaptation in Theatre and Performance book series (ATP)

Abstract

This chapter theorizes how Robert Lepage’s scenographic dramaturgy adapts Igor Stravinsky’s atypically structured, one-act symphonic poem, Le Rossignol. An outline of the open-ended dramaturgy featured in atypical operas and the genre’s increased availability to auteur-ed performance texts will preface this case study. The body of this chapter explores the ways in which Lepage creates a hyper-aestheticized, twenty-first-century version of Le Rossignol’’s nineteenth-century chinoiserie, offering a post-Orientalist comment on globalization and cultural commodification. The production’s narrative is over-written by a scenographic conceit based on the evolution of puppetry, which features acrobatic shadow play, Taiwanese hand puppets and Vietnamese water puppetry performed in an orchestra pit flooded with twenty-seven tons of water. In this, Lepage demonstrates how light, space, sound, movement and puppetry can shape and develop open-ended texts, providing the external dramaturgical framework necessary to expand incomplete extant scores into full-length operas.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melissa Poll
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EnglishSimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada

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