Opera: The Art of Emotions – Call For Papers

Opera: The Art of Emotions
The Inaugural Conference of the Opera Special Interest Group of the Musicological Society of Australia in association with ARC Centre for Excellence for the History of Emotions

The Victorian College of the Arts and Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, The University of Melbourne
30 September-1 October, 2016

Keynote Presenter: Professor Neal Zaslaw (Cornell University, USA)

Voice, music, drama, poetry, plastic arts and dance combine to create a complex alchemy that makes opera an extraordinary experience monopolising the sight, hearing, imagination and sensibility of the audience. Without doubt, the human passions are at work on the opera stage. This conference aims to look at how emotions have been conceived, performed and experienced across the history of opera. We will interrogate and explore new theoretical and methodological approaches to understanding opera and the histories of emotion in which it operates.

Participants will be encouraged to collaborate in workshops, discussion forums as well as present more traditional papers to develop better insight into how to repopulate history with the oral/aural/gestural complexities of opera as emotional communication. We are accepting proposals for workshops (90 mins), discussion panels (90 mins) or single paper presentations (20 mins). Written proposals must not exceed 400 words and include the following: Name of author(s), affiliation(s), names of other participants (e.g., performers), format of presentation (workshop, papers etc.), title, aims, context, method, technical requirements (i.e. performance space etc.). Note that in the case of workshops, we shall encourage delegate participation from the floor, but if singers and instrumentalists are required, these need to be included as part of the author/presenter team and rehearsed appropriately in advance of the event.

Important dates:

  • Proposals submitted – Monday 30 May, to Frederic Kiernan: kiernanf@unimelb.edu.au
  • Outcomes of submission – Monday 20 June
  • Registration deadline – Monday 15 August
  • Conference opening – 5pm Thursday 29 September
  • Conference closing – 5pm Saturday 1 October

Cost information:

Those accepted to participate in the event will be provided with tea and lunch refreshments. Evening meals and accommodation are to be arranged independently by delegates. A small number of grants will be available to support postgraduate presenters travelling interstate. Can those interested in a travel award please include a breakdown of likely travel costs in their proposal submission.

Organising committee:

  • Michael Halliwell and Alan Maddox (MSA, University of Sydney)
  • Jane Davidson, Erin Helyard, Frederic Kiernan, Stephen Grant (CHE, University of Melbourne Hosts)

Performances of La descente d’Orphée aux enfers, an opera in two acts by the French composer Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1686), will be presented by staff and students of the Early Music Studio at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music on Thursday 29th September and Saturday 1st October at 7:30pm at the Grant Street Theatre, VCA, Southbank.