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A Comparative Study of the Concept and Portrayal of Female Death in Puccini's Madame Butterfly and Janacek's Katya Kabanova, Within the Context of Early Modern Operatic Aesthetics.

Hodgson, Lynne. (2006) A Comparative Study of the Concept and Portrayal of Female Death in Puccini's Madame Butterfly and Janacek's Katya Kabanova, Within the Context of Early Modern Operatic Aesthetics. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

Janacek knew and loved Puccini’s opera Madama Butterfly and he acknowledged that the inspiration for his heroine Katya in his sixth opera Katya Kabanova was modified on the character of Cio-Cio-San. Janacek scholar John Tyrrell has identified one example of Puccini’s influence on Janacek in the parallel of the introduction of the two operatic heroines in their first scenes. The purpose of this seemingly isolated reference is unclear, yet the allusion is so strong, both in terms of melodic line and also the positioning within the opera itself, that it is unlikely that this decision was unconscious. It is hoped that by gaining a greater insight into the concept of allusion and its function and purpose within the context of the operatic genre that this can be recognised and identified in order to offer an explanation between the connection of Puccini’s and Janacek’s music. In order to explore this further, the historical and cultural contexts within which both operas were composed are examined. The operatic aesthetics of the time are also considered in order to identify common stylistic trends of the period. Puccini’s and Janacek’s attitudes towards death are discussed, and their portrayal of the female heroine is examined in detail. A detailed analysis of the final death scenes in both operas reveals further allusions in relation to the use of motives, themes, structure and scoring. More significantly, parallels can be drawn between Puccini’s and Janacek’s choice of keys and key relationships, suggesting that the structures show close parallels.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Hodgson, Lynne.
Date : 2006
Additional Information : Thesis (M.Phil.)--University of Surrey (United Kingdom), 2006.
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 06 May 2020 11:53
Last Modified : 06 May 2020 11:53
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/855558

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