Alien divas and sampled sirens: a brief mapping of opera in popular music from 1980-2005

Klein, Eve (2013). Alien divas and sampled sirens: a brief mapping of opera in popular music from 1980-2005. In: Oli Wilson and Sarah Attfield, Shifting Sounds: Musical Flow - A Collection of Papers from the 2012 IASPM Australia/New Zealand Conference. Shifting Sounds: Musical Flow IASPM-ANZ 2012 Conference, Hobart, TAS, Australia, (106-116). 5-7 December 2012.

Author Klein, Eve
Title of paper Alien divas and sampled sirens: a brief mapping of opera in popular music from 1980-2005
Conference name Shifting Sounds: Musical Flow IASPM-ANZ 2012 Conference
Conference location Hobart, TAS, Australia
Conference dates 5-7 December 2012
Proceedings title Shifting Sounds: Musical Flow - A Collection of Papers from the 2012 IASPM Australia/New Zealand Conference
Place of Publication Dunedin, New Zealand
Publisher International Association for the Study of Popular Music
Publication Year 2013
Sub-type Fully published paper
ISBN 9780975774793
Editor Oli Wilson
Sarah Attfield
Start page 106
End page 116
Total pages 11
Language eng
Abstract/Summary At the beginning of the twentieth century compilation recordings of operatic arias by singers such as Enrico Caruso began to decontextualise operatic songs from their narrative context. However, these early popular recordings of operatic song maintained a relationship to the tradition of opera, extending the reach of the metaphorical opera house into domestic listening environments. In the second half of the twentieth century opera left the opera house behind. This movement was driven by experimental composers such as Luciano Berio, Philip Glass and Robert Ashley who each addressed the framing of opera inside the opera house, and the kinds of vocalities which define opera. Yet it was Queen's smash hit "Bohemian Rapsody" from A Night at the Opera (1975) which thrust operatic forms upon 1970s rock audiences and the momentum generated from rock opera carried through into other music styles. This paper will provide a brief introduction to some of the landmark recordings where opera was appropriated into electronica, hip hop, rock and pop music from 1980 to 2005. The intention of this mapping is not to be exhaustive, rather it seeks to highlight how the appropriation of opera's structure, narratives, vocalities, and performance conventions by popular music artists has been used to make political, cultural or artistic statements. In these recordings, opera is positioned against popular music styles as a signifier of the gargantuan extremities of canonical European art culture. When utilised in popular music, opera becomes a site of political, class and identity conflict, an exotic object of pleasure, and a way of rupturing conventional popular music vocal styles. Through recordings by artists such as Nina Hagen and Diamanda Gal s, opera has been revitalised, with alien divas and sampled sirens influencing contemporary culture in ways which most classical singers can only dream about.
Keyword Opera
Popular Music
Popera
Electronic Music
Popular Culture
Gender
Q-Index Code E1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ
Additional Notes http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=876124864109778;res=IELHSS

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Music Publications
 
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Created: Tue, 13 Oct 2015, 17:49:13 EST by Eve Klein on behalf of School of Music