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Prof. Christopher Morris (Maynooth University)
Abstract: Responding to a contemporary media environment saturated with screens—what Casetti has called the ‘screenscape’—opera has increasingly mobilised video projections and screens in its stagings, not only as scenic backdrop but as a complement and parallel to stage action. What happens, though, when this operatic screenscape is itself screened—to mobile devices, cinemas, televisions, and recently to the computers of spectators in lockdown? My paper explores the implications of media practices that transform opera, historically a genre of the stage and the theatre, into video of video. And how does this layering and saturation of image and screen intersect with opera as sound?
Bio: Christopher Morris is Professor of Music at Maynooth University. He is author of Reading Opera Between the Lines: Orchestral Interludes and Cultural Meaning from Wagner to Berg (Cambridge, 2002) and Modernism and the Cult of Mountains: Music, Opera, Cinema (Ashgate, 2012), as well as chapters and articles on topics in opera and music for screen. Recent publications include ‘The Deadness of Live Opera’, in Performing Arts in Transition: Moving between Media (Routledge, 2018) and ‘Casting Metal: Opera Studies After Humanism’, Opera Quarterly (2019). Morris recently co-edited an issue of Opera Quarterly (2018) devoted to opera cinecasts. He is currently completing a book on opera and video for Chicago University Press.