As part of the symposium 'The Melodramatic Moment, 1790-1820', you are warmly invited to a performance workshop and study afternoon to be held at King’s College London, on 27 and 28 March 2014.
The symposium, organized by Jonathan Hicks and Katherine Hambridge, brings together international scholars from musicology, theatre studies, comparative literature, English literature, French studies and German studies to re-examine the emergence and development of stage melodrama: for some thirty years, and in various guises, one of the most popular and important stage products across much of Europe. The earlier German, Rousseauian tradition of melodramas produced at court and at Nationaltheaters (most famously represented by Georg Benda’s Ariadne auf Naxos) continued in the form of performances of older works and the composition of new ones. At the same time, the Napoleonic period saw the emergence of the so-called ‘popular’, boulevard melodrama in France, often treated as a distinct entity, which was subsequently exported in translation to a number of European theatrical centres as well as to the growing cities of the United States. There were further forms of melodrama practised in this period in the Italian peninsula. Indeed, for some thirty years, melodrama in its various guises was one of the most important stage products across much of Europe. Categorisation by national tradition or division into high and low art forms has often led to the treatment of these different traditions as distinct entities. Yet in this period, the overlap of repertoire in cities and on stages, as well as obvious similarities in content and technique, suggest the fruitfulness of examining these phenomena together.
On 27 March, Professor Gilli Bush-Bailey will direct a performance workshop on scenes from Pixérécourt’s melodrama La Forteresse (1805) and its English translation by Hook, The Fortress (1807), both with extant scores, using actors from Central School of Speech and Drama. The workshop is open from 2pm-4pm, and there will be a short performance and discussion at 6pm. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to attend.
On 28 March, delegates from the symposium will present papers at an open study afternoon.
1.30pm Welcome: Jonathan Hicks (KCL); Chair: David Charlton (RHUL); Respondent: Jacqueline Waeber (Duke)
Pixérécourt's La Citerne and the Visual Language of Battle Sarah Hibberd (Nottingham) Urban Space and Public Memory in the Napoleonic 'Occasional Melodrama' Nicholas Mathew (Berkeley) The Aesthetics of Melodramatic Form Carolyn Williams (Rutgers)
4pm Chair: David Mayer (Manchester) Respondent: Katherine Hambridge (Warwick)
Introduction to the Melodrama Research Consortium Matthew Buckley (Rutgers) 'The Surprise of an Expected Event’: Melodrama and Visual Culture Kate Newey (Exeter) The Proto-melodrama in Paris and London Michael Pisani (Vassar)
Please email email@example.com if you would like to attend.
This conference is supported by King’s College London, the European Research Council, the University of Warwick and the AHRC.
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