Symposium and Workshop: South African Opera Productions after the Apartheid

Venue: Universität Bayreuth

Date:   18th– 19th October 2018

Call for Papers:

Deadline: 15th August 2018

With the end of the Apartheid era, opera – stigmatized as ‘eurocentric opera’ – became a symbol of Western dominance/colonial imposition and seemed to be dead in South Africa.

But in fact, especially the so called ‘indigenous opera’ ‘flourishes’ as something of an anachronism and can be assessed as ‘black empowerment’ (Naomi André 2018).

The writing of a historiography of opera productions in South Africa although has academically just shortly started (Donato Somma 2016; Hilde Roos 2013, 2010; Martina Viljoen 2006) and is confronted with problems of different natures: political structures, post-colonization, globalization, unstable artistic standards and institutional relations.

The ‘bloom’ of opera presents itself neither through regular performances nor through crowded theatre halls. This is a consequence of the difficult political relations of artistic production in South Africa, which are among others characterized by a lack of funding and the re-organization of the Performing Arts Councils/ National Arts Councils. The existing significant multiple theatricalities of South Africa are thereby not having a platform to present themselves. The market pressure results often in overseas productions financing the few performances in the country itself. Thereby putting itself on risk to confirm with their opera productions transferred expectations of a South African identity rather than expressing an ‘authentic’ one.

This symposium will focus on South African Opera productions. Thereby the aim of the symposium is to represent the plurality of artistic concepts that deal in different ways with the multiple challenges of political and social transformation. How can opera in South Africa be involved in the process of societal transformation in a post-apartheid society? Which new artistic concepts are needed? How does themes for the libretti change? How did language, the style of composition and orchestration transform? Which new locations for performances are found to involve new audiences? How did the aesthetics change? And how are new media used either for a new aesthetic of performances, as with e.g. ‘Lamento’ (Umculo) or ‘U-Carmen eKhayelitsha’ (Isango Ensemble), or for marketing purposes?

For the first day of the symposium presentations shall focus on one opera productions. To ‘map’ the plurality of the field presentations are invited that cover one of the following topics.

  1. South African opera productions
  • Operas of different opera companies and composers
  • Different locations of opera performances (opera house, township, film)
  • Aesthetics of the opera opus itself
  • Analysis of compositions, libretti & performances

With Prof. Dr. Naomi André (University Michigan, USA), Dr. Donato Somma (University of Witwatersrand, SA) and Dr. Lena van der Hoven (among others) some experts in the field are invited. They will present on ‘Winnie – The Opera’ (Bongani Ndodana-Breen), ‘Princess Magogo’ (Opera Africa, Mzilikazi Khumalo), ‘Heart of Redness’ (Cape Town Opera, Neo Muyanga) and ‘Romeo’s Passion’ (Umculo, Cathy Milliken).

The workshop on the second day will cover transformation processes of Opera production in South Africa focusing on the following topics:

  • Opera institutions & opera companies
  • Finances/ Funding
  • Audiences
  • Marketing
  • Political impact

Abstracts (max. 2000 characters) for 20 minutes papers along with the technical requirements for the talk and a short CV with contact details should be sent by 15th August 2018 to Lena van der Hoven (Lena.van-der-Hoven@uni-bayreuth.de). Contributions from both the humanities and social sciences are welcome (Musicology, Theatre Studies, History, Cultural Studies, Sociology). Early career researchers in particular are encouraged to contribute. The chosen speakers will be informed by 31th August 2018 and the conference programme published online at http://www.prof-musikwissenschaft.uni-bayreuth.de/de/index.html .

 

 

Iberian musical crossroads through the ages: Images of music-making in their transcultural exchanges

Fifteenth symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Iconography of the Performing Arts
organized by the Societat Catalana de Musicologia, Institut d’Estudis Catalans

Barcelona, 17–19 October 2018

Iberian peninsula—the home of Spanish, Catalan, Portuguese, Basque, and Galician peoples—has been a significant economic and political region through the history, which had been both conquered by the powers coming from elsewhere and generating its own forces exploring and conquering other regions and cultures in the world. From the Bronze Age onwards, explorers and traders used the peninsula as the crossroad between the Mediterranean and much of the rest of the world. The Phoenicians came to Iberia in the ninth century BC, and the Greeks followed two centuries later. The Romans conquest of Hispania started during the second Punic War in 206 BC and by the time of Augustus near the entire peninsula was under the control of Rome. During the Middle Ages, Al-Andalus with its Islamic administration was open to an import of Arab knowledge, philosophy, culture, arts and music. Later on, Spain and Portugal were the strongest naval powers in the world and their overseas explorations have radically altered both the old and new worlds: Spain influenced South American and Caribbean cultures, and even the Philippines; the Portuguese travellers, traders and conquerors reached Brazil, sailed along the African coast, and arrived all the way to India, Malacca, and Macao. Through the crown of Aragon, Catalonia experienced cultural exchanges within the western Mediterranean Sea and southern Italy. In addition to the overseas networks, cultural and artistic exchanges were also occurring in Europe through commercial and political ties, and also through marriages between the royal houses. Throughout the history pilgrims walking the Camino de Santiago, or visiting the shrines of Montserrat or Fatima were bringing with them songs, dances and instruments from all over Europe.

All these and many other explorations and migrations created a fertile framework for a rich exchange of musical ideas, sounds, forms, rhythms, dances, and instruments. The Barcelona conference of the ICTM Study Group on the Iconography of Performing Arts will examine visual sources documenting transborder and transcultural transmission of musical ideas between the peoples of the Iberian Peninsula and the rest of the world. Papers are invited concerning the following topics:

  • Sounds of the ancient world: The Iberian cultures in an exchange with other Mediterranean traditions
  • Islamic sounds in Al-Andalus
  • Music and dances of Spanish Sephardim
  • Music along the road: Travelers and pilgrimages in Spain and Portugal
  • The Borgia family as a mediator of musical life between Iberia, Rome and the Vatican
  • Music and explorers (Columbus, Vasco da Gama, trade routes to Latin America, Asia, Africa)
  • Portuguese ethnohistoric accounts about music of Brazil, Macao, and Estado da Índia
  • Spanish encounters with music cultures of pre-Colombian America
  • Music in Catholic missions of New Spain and in the Christianization of Goa
  • Exchanges between Catalonia and kingdoms of Naples and Sicily
  • Reception of the Italian opera in Spain and Portugal
  • Zarzuela and other music theater in Latin America
  • Spain as a topos in music exoticism (opera, operetta, ballet, dance); Orientalism in Spanish art
  • Exchanges of musical instruments between Iberian Peninsula and the rest of the world
  • Internal musical exchanges between the peoples of the Iberian peninsula
  • Spanish/Portuguese iconographic models used in Latin American decorative programs
  • Transcultural musical topics in the 20th- and 21st-century art
  • Proposals related to other transcultural music exchanges in the world may be also considered

English is preferred language for the conference presentations.
Abstracts of 250–300 words may be submitted before 2 April 2018 to:

Zdravko Blažeković
Research Center for Music Iconography
City University of New York, The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016-4309
zblazekovic@gc.cuny.edu

and

Jordi Ballester
Societat Catalana de Musicologia
Institut d’Estudis Catalans
Carrer del Carme 47
08001 Barcelona
Jordi.Ballester@uab.cat