Contemporary opera as relevant and effective socio-political critique : two case studies
Laycock, Frances Catherine
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The validity of the traditional arts in contemporary society is often questioned by the wider public. This dissertation argues that one of the ways in which the arts attain value is through their function as political activism. In order to do so, it investigates the characteristics of resistance art. This is followed by a discussion of contemporary opera. While this genre is a minority interest when compared to popular music forms, it is, nevertheless, a form of resistance art that has the potential to fulfill a social and political function. The dissertation focuses on two case studies: John Adam's The Death of Klinghoffer (1990) and Paul Ruders's The Handmaid's Tale (2000), and concludes that contemporary opera can be relevant and effective socio-political critique.
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