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Arias for phonograph and singers (music theatre)

by Caroline Wilkins and Caroline Wilkins (1988)

Arias for phonograph and singers


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Video tape

Arias for phonograph and singers / Caroline Wilkins.

Library shelf no. VD 30 [Not for loan]

Arias for phonograph and singers


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Arias for phonograph and singers / Caroline Wilkins.

Library shelf no. 783.13542/WIL 1 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

Arias is a self-reflective work. It is to do with the recreation of early Italian opera through the use of recordings made at the beginning of the 20th century. The interaction between live singers and their early counterparts from the past, as heard on shellac disc, is examined. The inner dialogue of the aria is explored, together with the physical presence of the singer. The title indicates earlier forms of recording technique: phonograph meaning literally soundwriter.

Work Details

Year: 1988

Instrumentation: Mezzo-soprano, tenor, baritone, gramophone (with external horn and adjustable speed control), 78 shellac discs of Italian Opera: Cortigiani from Verdi's Rigolette, Di Quella Pira from Verdi's Il Trovatore and any aria for mezzo soprano such as Donizetti's O mio Fernando from La Favorita. In the event that these are impossible to find, adjustments will have to be made to the musical material in the score concerning these arias.  

Duration: 30 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — Extended vocal techniques

Contents note: Introductory aria -- The telephone aria -- The mirror aria -- Tenor duet aria -- Silent aria -- The exclamatory aria -- The dressing aria -- The recording aria.

First performance: by John Baylis, Annette Tesoriero, Chris Bogg, Ian Cousins — 1987. Australian Playwright's Conference, Canberra


Excerpt from 'Arias for Phonograph and Singers'
Excerpt from 'Arias for Phonograph and Singers'
Excerpt from 'Arias for Phonograph and Singers'


Performances of this work

28 Nov 10: Ekon Festival, Theatro Technis, London. Featuring Myrto Loulaki, Metapraxis Ensemble.

18 Nov 10: Chelsea Theatre London. Featuring Myrto Loulaki, Music Orbit, Metapraxis Ensemble.

28 Jun 97: Toden Raum, Zurich, Switzerland. Featuring Dieter Jordi, Kornelia Brugmann, Frederic Bolli, Dominik Blum.

29 Apr 93: Athenaeum Theatre 2. Featuring Chamber Made.

1987: Australian Playwright's Conference, Canberra. Featuring John Baylis, Ian Cousins, Chris Bogg, Annette Tesoriero.

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