Opera production in a contemporary creative context

Keyword: Opera, Contemporary staging, Contemporary opera, Repertoire opera, Staging, Voice, Composition, Libretto

Summary: This project aims at the execution of two opera productions, in a collaboration between several areas of specialty of the Escola Superior de Música de Lisboa (ESML) such as singing, composition and the areas of instrument and chamber music, with the assembly of both productions are permanently accompanied by research and reflection on the various phases of the creative process.

Thus, we propose the realization of a repertoire opera, by W. A. ​​Mozart and an absolute debut of a contemporary opera production. The project is, in itself, a contribution to artistic creation in the genre and to innovation, both in terms of staging and in terms of contemporary composition, as well as a research laboratory that will generate and expand knowledge in the area and provide dissemination of this knowledge through public conferences, in the middle and at the end of the process, culminating in the presentation of the results with the respective performance.

This project also intends to support the young singers of ESML, integrating themselves in a professional work, making contact with all the problems of assembling a complete repertoire opera and also making contact with contemporary opera, thus facing the new challenges faced by opera singers. . On the other hand, the project also intends to support young composers who have shown an increasing interest in contributing to opera writing, at the same time that they see this writing as a real research work.

The fact that at this moment in Portugal there is no opera season and only opera at the National Theater of São Carlos or in a sporadic performance here or there within the country, alone justifies the relevance of this project; however, it also arises from the desire to deepen research in this area in higher education, in the context of the research work developed at ESML-IPL.

Knowing that the resources will be reduced, we resort mainly to the technical and artistic qualities of all those involved in the execution of the project and to the means that the project can provide with regard to costumes, props or other scenic elements.

The main issues to be dealt with in this project are mainly to investigate the possibility of presenting two shows using few means, leading the singing students to use their representation technique to the maximum to be credible during the performance.

In the area of ​​Composition, it is intended that there is a prior reflection, which seeks to ask new questions about writing for opera today, in terms of the relationship of musical writing with the libretto, in terms of vocal interpretation and the various specificities of the work with the singers and in terms of the relationship with new technologies, both in performance and in the composition itself. It is intended, therefore, that the public presentation of these operas is a new practical answer to these problems.

Project site