Opera from the Greek: Studies in the Poetics of Appropriation
Michael Ewans explores how classical Greek tragedy and epic poetry have been appropriated in opera, through eight selected case studies. These range from Monteverdi's Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria, drawn from Homer's Odyssey, to Mark-Antony Turnage's Greek, based on Sophocles' Oedipus the King. Choices have been based on an understanding that the relationship between each of the operas and their Greek source texts raise significant issues, involving an examination of the process by which the librettist creates a new text for the opera, and the crucial insights into the nature of the drama that are bestowed by the composer's musical setting. Ewans examines the issues through a comparative analysis of significant divergences of plot, character and dramatic strategy between source text, libretto and opera.
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Achilles action Aegisthus Aeschylus Agamemnon Agave Antigone aria Athenian Athens Auden and Kallman audience Bacchae Badoaro Bassarids Berkoff characters Cherubini chorus Christian Chrysothemis classical composer contrast Corinth Corinthian created Creon Creuse dance death Destiny dialogue Dionysian Dionysus drama Eddy Eddy's Elektra emotional Enesco Eumenides Euripides evoke Ewans fate feeling final Fleg Fleg's Furies Gluck gods Greek tragedy Guillard Hector Henze Henze's Hoffman Hofmannsthal Hofmannsthal's Homer human Iliad Iphigeneia Iphigenie en Tauride Iphigenie's Jason kill King Priam Klytamnestra librettist libretto Medea Medee Medee's modern monologue Monteverdi mother motif murder myth Odysseus Oedipe's Oedipus at Colonus Oedipus the King opera orchestra Orestes Paris Patroclus Penelope Penelope's Pentheus play Pylades recitative revenge scene Schottler 1992 sequence sexual sings Sophocles Sphinx stage story Strauss style suitors Taurians Telemachus tells Thebes theme Thoas Tippett Touche's tragic Turnage Ulisse Ulisse's vengeance vision woman women Zeus