Reframing the Golden Age Musical: Methods, Sources, Performance

The forth Biennial StageStruck! Conference
An international conference in honor of Prof. Kim Kowalke, President of the Kurt Weill Foundation.
Convenor: Professor Dominic McHugh, University of Sheffield

The Great American Songbook Foundation at The Center for the Performing Arts, Carmel, IN
12 – 14th May 2021

CALL FOR PAPERS – 1 JULY 2020
See below for more information.

Abstract:

Traditional histories of the American musical tend to revolve around the formation of a canon of Broadway shows written roughly between the 1940s and mid-1960s, with Oklahoma! (1943) and Fiddler on the Roof (1964) often cited as terminal works. Other key works during the period include Kiss Me, Kate (1948), Guys and Dolls (1950), My Fair Lady (1956) and West Side Story (1957). The era encompasses the ends of the careers of figures from the previous generation such as Cole Porter, Irving Berlin and Kurt Weill, the peak of the output of Rodgers and Hammerstein and Lerner and Loewe, and the beginning of the creative influence of Stephen Sondheim and Bock and Harnick.

Yet to what extent is the concept of the Golden Age a useful tool for framing musicals, and how can we better understand these ever-present yet curiously elusive works?

In a conference honoring the career of Kim Kowalke (Professor, Rochester, NY; President of the Kurt Weill Foundation), and marking the seventieth anniversary of the death of Kurt Weill, we take stock of existing scholarship on the Golden Age musical and explore ways forward.

The conference also affords the opportunity to celebrate the richness of the Great American Songbook Foundation’s collections on the musical.

The conference will include a keynote from Kara Gardner, author of Agnes de Mille: Telling Stories in Broadway Dance.

Possible lines of enquiry might include:

  • What is the nature of the Golden Age musical?
  • What are the best tools, approaches and methodologies for analysing and examining the Golden Age musical?
  • When did it start to be conceived of as the Golden Age?
  • What are the benefits and pitfalls of the term?
  • What are the major archival holdings on Golden Age musicals?
  • How can we access the Golden Age musical, especially in the case of works that were not filmed and/or recorded?
  • What was the relationship between Broadway and Hollywood during the Golden Age?
  • How can we strengthen relationships between scholars of different disciplines (e.g. musicology and film studies) and between scholars and performers?
  • What impacts, if any, did the Broadway musical have beyond New York (and beyond America) during the Golden Age?
  • How can we avoid the pull of nostalgia in framing the Golden Age musical

Lodging:

Area hotels and group rate information coming soon.

Attendees are responsible for travel & lodging.

Call for Papers:

Proposals for individual papers (20 minutes + 10 minutes of discussion) or for a 90-minute panel (three papers + discussion) should be emailed to Dominic McHugh at d.mchugh@sheffield.ac.uk by 1 July 2020.

Learn about the Great American Songbook Foundation:

The conference will include a showcase of the Great American Songbook Foundation’s holdings on musical theatre, which include the papers of Meredith Willson and Gus Kahn.

Previous Stagestruck! Conferences have been held at the University of Sheffield (2014, 2016) and at the Great American Songbook Foundation (2018).


Music, Cinema, and Modernism. The Works and Heritage of Kurt Weill between Europe and America

The Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini of Lucca and the DAMS/Università di Torino are pleased to invite submissions of proposals for the symposium «Music, Cinema, and Modernism. The Works and Heritage of Kurt Weill between Europe and America», to be held at the  Università degli studi di Torino, Palazzo Nuovo, Via Sant’Ottavio, 20 – Torino, from 22 to 24 May 2020.

Keynote Speakers

  • Nils Grosch (Universität Salzburg)
  • Stephen Hinton (Stanford University)

The conference aims to address aspects of Kurt Weill’s works in relation to his contemporaries and his heritage to succeeding generations, both in the United States and in Europe. The creative activities of the German-American composer have been characterized by his keen interest in new media: principally, in radio in Germany and in the cinema in the United States, and in new forms of experimentation in musical theater on both sides of the Atlantic.

The fact that his compositions as well as his sensibilities tended to situate themselves somewhere between the poles of highbrow and the lowbrow culture allows for multiple interpretations, while prompting various possible themes for research. The themes suggested here are not intended to be restrictive but, rather, to invite a wide range of reflections, and other topics are also welcome:

  • The modernity of Kurt Weill: borrowings and assimilations among his contemporaries
  • After 1950: the theoretical and aesthetic legacy of Kurt Weill after his death
  • Kurt Weill’s german-american contemporaries: aesthetic, artistic, and compositional choices
  • Marc Blitzstein as a translator and interpreter of the German Weill in the United States
  • Love Life on Broadway: a new musical theater genre is born?
  • Musicals, American opera, Radio Opera and so on: the ideas about musical theater by Kurt Weill
  • The debates for and against modernism among German émigré composers to the United States  before and after World War II
  • Aesthetic and theoretical debates concerning film music between the 1920s and 1940s
  • Film music as “modern music”: identity and perspectives
  • Kurt Weill and Hollywood: New Music for the Cinema?
  • Composer and arranger: new roles and new relationships
  • Berlin, Broadway, and Hollywood: a comparison of their modes of organization and cultural production

Programme Committee

  • Giaime Alonge (Università degli studi di Torino)
  • Giulia Carluccio (Università degli studi di Torino)
  • Tim Carter (University of North Carolina)
  • Pietro Cavallotti (Università degli studi di Torino)
  • Roberto Illiano (Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini, Lucca)
  • Kim Kowalke (Eastman School of Music/ University of Rochester – The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music)
  • Andrea Malvano (Università degli studi di Torino)
  • Ilario Meandri (università degli studi di Torino)
  • Marida Rizzuti (Università IULM, Milano)
  • Massimiliano Sala (Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini, Lucca)

The official languages of the conference are English and Italian. Papers selected at the conference will be published in a miscellaneous volume.
Papers are limited to twenty minutes in length, allowing time for questions and discussion. Please submit an abstract of no more than 500 words and one page of biography.
All proposals should be submitted by email no later than ***Sunday 16 February 2020*** to <conferences@luigiboccherini.org>. With your proposal please include your name, contact details (postal address, e-mail and telephone number) and (if applicable) your affiliation.
The committee will make its final decision on the abstracts by the end of February 2020, and contributors will be informed immediately thereafter. Further information about the programme, registration, travel and accommodation will be announced after that date.
For any additional information, please contact:

Dr. Massimiliano Sala
conferences@luigiboccherini.org
www.luigiboccherini.org

‘Putting It Together’: Investigating Sources for Musical Theatre Research

‘Putting It Together’: Investigating Sources for Musical Theatre Research

The University of Sheffield, 10-12 May 2016

Research into the Broadway and Hollywood musical is now well established, with numerous scholarly monographs, journal articles and critical editions providing diverse but excellent methodological models for investigating the genre. With the resurgence of interest in revivals of “forgotten” musicals by companies such as Encores! and the establishment of series of books such as Oxford’s Broadway Legacies, studies of musicals have evolved to incorporate a plethora of materials and outputs, both scholarly and public.

This three-day conference seeks to interrogate the use of sources in research into musical theatre and film, covering interdisciplinary perspectives from musicology, film, theatre, media, information management, criticism and performance.

To find out more, please click here.

 

Exoticism, orientalism and national identity in musical theatre. International musicological conference on the centenary of the death of Karl Goldmark

Budapest, 11–12 December, 2015

Institute of Musicology (Research Centre for the Humanities, Hungarian Academy of Sciences)

Karl Goldmark was a key figure of the musical culture of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. He was born in a Hungarian city as a son of a Jewish chazzan, but his activity concentrated mostly to Vienna. He considered himself Hungarian, but all of his operas were composed in German and, except Götz von Berlichingen, premiered in Vienna. Thus, his life and oeuvre represents not only the problematic questions of citizenship, religion and national identity in Central Europe at the turn of the century, but also their impact on a variety of musical genres (operas, symphonic works, chamber music, choral music, works for piano and songs).

On the centenary of Goldmark’s death, the Archives and Research Group for 20th and 21st Century Hungarian Music (http://zti.hu/mza/index_en.htm) launches an international conference which will discuss not only the life and oeuvre of Goldmark, but also several topics in connection to him. As an initiative, this conference intends to discuss these topics in international context and for the period of 1867 to present (also contemporary music), furthermore, ‘musical theatre’ will not be restricted to opera but papers concerning further genres of musical theatre (operetta, ballet, incidental music, musical, dance, show, revue, cabaret etc.) are also invited.

Abstracts of 300 words for 20-minute individual papers are invited to be sent in English or in German. Themes that papers may address include, but are not limited to:

– The oeuvre and life of Karl Goldmark (compositions, writings, biography, discography, iconography, bibliography, gender, interpretation, reception, influence, etc.).

– Music and National identity in Central Europe between 1867 and 1945

– Jewish topics in musical theatre (not only opera, but also ballet, dance, operetta, musical plays etc., from 1867 to present)

– orientalism and exoticism in musical theatre (from 1867 to present)

All proposals should be submitted by email no later than 30 April 2015 to magyar.zenei.archivum@btk.mta.hu With your proposal please include your CV, contact details and, if applicable, your affiliation. The committee will make its final decision on the abstracts by the end of May 2015, and contributors will be informed immediately thereafter. Further information about the programme, registration, travel and accommodation will be announced after that date.

For any additional information, please contact both of the organizers of the conference:

Ádám Ignácz (ignacz.adam@btk.mta.hu)

Ferenc János Szabó (szabo.ferenc.janos@btk.mta.hu)