Res Musica

Res Musica 5 (2013)

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Preface

This issue of Res Musica yearbook is special in several ways. To begin with, it is the first Estonian language publication of articles that all are dedicated to aspects of studying music theatre. Within this collection one finds historical approaches, analyses of Estonian and international stage productions or performances and, last but not least, a reception study. The authors look for a common research ground between music and theatre studies, as well as for the methodology that would yield results relevant for the objects under analysis. the second idiosyncratic aspect of the present issue of Res Musica: it has been produced in collaboration with the Department of Literature and Theatre Research, University of Tartu.

This issue of Res Musica yearbook is special in several ways. To begin with, it is the first Estonian language publication of articles that all are dedicated to aspects of studying music theatre. Within this collection one finds historical approaches (Anu Schaper’s research on the 1680 performance of Johann Valentin Meder’s opera Die beständige Argenia in Tallinn, covering the background of that work as well as Meder’s own ambitions; Agnes Toomla’s overview of the opera and operetta productions at the Estonia Theatre during the German occupation in 1941–44), analyses of Estonian and international stage productions or performances (Christian Schaper studies the relations between music, libretto and stage directing in Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier; Maarja Kindel writes about Estonian first professional opera director Hanno Kompus’s renditions of operas by Wagner and Tchaikovsky; Maris Pajuste about Erkki-Sven Tüür’s opera Wallenberg as a musical work and as director Dmitri Bertman’s stage production; Kristel Pappel and Anneli Saro about Jüri Reinvere’s opera Puhdistus (Purge) and its 2012 stage production at the Finnish National Opera) and, last but not least, a reception study (Hedi-Liis Toome’s research on the audience’s attendance and reception of performances of operas and musicals in Tartu Vanemuine theatre). The authors look for a common research ground between music and theatre studies, as well as for the methodology that would yield results relevant for the objects under analysis. In many cases, integrating the analysis of musical work with the analysis of its stage production is considered the key aspect. This is exactly what Erika Fischer-Lichte, one of the luminaries of contemporary theatre studies, emphasizes in the introductory interview to this issue: music theatre studies have been thriving for some decades already, yet its greatest potential for future lies in the collaboration between music(ological) studies and theatre research.

Hence the second idiosyncratic aspect of the present issue of Res Musica: it has been produced in collaboration with the Department of Literature and Theatre Research, University of Tartu. I owe greatly, first and foremost, to Professor Anneli Saro for our inspiring and educational conversations and for her ever-affirmative attitude towards our working together, and to Luule Epner, Madli Pesti and Riina Oruaas who always kindly provided their expert help. I very much hope that our discussions will continue.

Thirdly, this collection of articles can be seen as a work in progress – in the sense that among its authors one can also find doctoral students, young MA graduates and even one master student.

Two disquisitions by German theatre researchers frame the articles in this collection. In music theatre studies, German scholars have been in the front for the last couple of decades. As in theatre research, there are four eminent towers of music theatre studies in Germany: Freie Universität Berlin, University of Munich, University of Bayreuth with its unique research institute for the study of opera and music theatre in Thurnau (Forschungsinstitut für Musiktheater), and University of Vienna. Particularly innovative and influential among these seems to be the Berlin circle of scholars gathered around Erika Fischer-Lichte. One of its most active members, Clemens Risi, has taught in British and American universities, and he has been efficient in mediating the newest trends in German theatre studies to the Anglo-American (music) theatre research. One proof of this success is Risi’s English-language article, here translated into Estonian, on the perspectives of new analytical approaches to music theatre that was originally published in the Oxford University Press journal The Opera Quarterly. In the future we could definitely publish in Estonia also a multilingual collection of articles dedicated to music theatre; for the time being, however, the providing of the basics of this research field in Estonian language was considered of utmost importance.

And now the expressions of gratitude are in order. Anu Schaper was not only precise and thorough an editor, but also able and willing to creatively think along. Maite-Margit Kotta, a layout designer of Res Musica, agreed to an innovative approach in designing this particular issue. Toomas Siitan helped with questions concerning the contents as well as those of organisatory nature. Kaire Maimets, Madli Pesti and Mart Jaanson were excellent supporters and helpers, and so was Kirsten Simmo, the Head of the Theatre Section of Estonian Theatre and Music Museum. Useful observations came from Andres Laasik and Mart Humal. Thanks go to the Estonian Music Council for supporting the printing of this publication. The theatre researchers in Tartu, especially Anneli Saro, I have already mentioned. And, last but not least – for the critical-inspiring conversations about Estonian music theatre in general I am most grateful to art scholar and opera reviewer Harry Liivrand.

Since childhood I have admired Lea Tormis’s engaging ways of thinking and writing about both drama and music theatre. May this issue of Res Musica be dedicated to her and to everyone who consider music theatre as part of their life!

Kristel Pappel

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Table of contents:

Saateks koostajalt

(Kristel Pappel)

RESEARCH PERSPECTIVES OF MUSICAL THEATRE I

HISTORY

The political Argenia: the opera Die beständige Argenia by Johann Valentin Meder against the background of the political events of its time

Opera and operetta productions at the Estonia Theatre during the German occupation in 1941–1944: operation, repertoire and reception

STAGE PRODUCTION ANALYSIS

“Time, it won’t alter matters, after all”. On the relation between music, libretto and stage direction in Der Rosenkavalier by Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Richard Strauss

Hanno Kompus as a style-sensitive opera director: the cases of Tristan und Isolde and Eugene Onegin

The musical dramaturgy of Erkki-Sven Tüür’s opera Wallenberg and its connections with the stage interpretation

Jüri Reinvere’s opera Puhdistus (Purge): Perspectives from cultural studies, theatre research and musicology

RECEPTION

The reasons for attending performances of operas and musicals and the reception of these genres at the Vanemuine theatre

RESEARCH PERSPECTIVES OF MUSICAL THEATRE II

REVIEWS

Антон Кюналь. Специфика оперного либретто как текста: на примере опер на библейские сюжеты (Россия, вторая половина XIX в.). Tallinna Ülikooli humanitaarteaduste dissertatsioonid 14, 2012, 234 lk.

(Jaan Ross)

Eduard Tubin. Kogutud teosed. I seeria, I köide: Sümfoonia nr. 1, sümfoonia nr. 2 („Legendaarne”). Partituur, toimetanud Lauri Sirp ja Toomas Trass, Tallinn/Stockholm: Rahvusvaheline Eduard Tubina Ühing / Gehrmans Musikförlag, 2012, 336 lk.
Eduard Tubin. Kogutud teosed. I seeria, VII köide: Orkestrisüidid. Partituur, toimetanud Kerri Kotta, Tallinn/Stockholm: Rahvusvaheline Eduard Tubina Ühing / Gehrmans Musikförlag, 2012, 273 lk.

(Timo Virtanen)

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