We are happy to announce that this Fall's program will be held at the Bruce Museum, 1 Museum Dr. Greenwich.
THE ART OF PERFORMANCE IN AFRICA
Professor Frederick Lamp
Africa has given us some of the most spectacular performances on earth, combining the arts of dance, music, theater, as well as painting and sculpture into a single indivisible form. Masquerade has reached its pinnacle of achievement in Africa, and African music, with its unique polyrhythms is a heritage unparalleled. In this course we will look at ten specific works of African performance from antiquity through the twenty-first century, examining documentary films, archival and contemporary photographs, and audio recordings, guided by the lecturer's first-hand experience in research into art and performance of all kinds on the continent of Africa and in its export globally. We will investigate works from throughout the African experience, in contexts of royal display, religious ritual, rites of passage, ancestral veneration, social and political commentary, protest, generational and gender conflict and resolution, popular celebration, street theater, nationalism, theatricalization of tradition, and creative work by Africa's foremost choreographers and musicians today. We will explore all aspects of the production of performance from conception through the choreography of movement, the composing of songs, the rigorous training and rehearsal of dancers, singers and players of musical instruments, the preparation of masks and costumes, the considerations of space, lighting and timing, the preparatory social negotiations, the total involvement of actors and audience in the performance itself, and the post-production aspects. We will look at performances from all ages and contexts with regard to concepts of individual agency and creativity, timeless tradition, ritual repetition, cultural conventions, and transition into the present.
OPERA IN CINEMA
Professor Judith Malafronte
Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT
An introduction to opera, focusing on the Metropolitan Opera Company’s “Live in HD” transmissions of Verdi’s Macbeth (October 11), Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro (October 18), Bizet’s Carmen (November 1), Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia (November 22), and Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (December 13).
We will use these five operas as jumping off points in our examination of librettos and source material, as well as the social and musical conventions of opera. We will consider dramaturgy, casting requirements and the concept of vocal Fach, language, artistic collaboration, the rehearsal process, reception and criticism, along with the historical aspects of opera production. There will be relevant readings from a wide variety of sources, as well as viewing and listening homework, available on YouTube.
Participants should plan to view these Saturday afternoon broadcasts at a local cinema, or attend a live performance at the Metropolitan Opera. Information about the broadcasts, as well as a list of theaters, is available here: http://www.metopera.org/metopera/liveinhd/live-in-hd-2014-15-season. The schedule of live performances for the entire season is available at www.metopera.org.