DREAM AND MUSIC THEATRE AFTER 1800. Continuities, Turning Points, Perspectives

Auteur de l'annonce
Mauro Fosco Bertola
Date de l'évènement
Type d'évènement
Appel à communication/Call for papers

Présentation générale

Call for Papers

International Conference

18 to 20 September 2024 at the Institute of Musicology,
University of Tübingen

Continuities, Turning Points, Perspectives

The conference
Sleep and dream scenes have been an integral part of the genre since the beginnings of opera in the 17th century (Stenzl 1991: 1633). From 1800 onwards, however, epochal changes can be observed which have affected the operatic genre itself as well as the discourse on dreams and the Western cultural sphere in general. These changes extend right up to the present day (see below). The conference aims to discuss these developments and their interrelationships from an interdisciplinary perspective and to trace their effects down to contemporary music theatre.
We welcome contributions from musicology, especially opera studies, libretto studies and ethnomusicology, as well as from historically and/or aesthetically oriented dream studies in general, dealing with the relationship between dreams and music theatre over the last 200 years. Cultural-historical and philosophical perspectives on the conference topic are also expressly welcome, as are contributions that question the link between dreams and music theatre outside the Western cultural sphere.

The rationale
The transition from the eighteenth to the nineteenth century represents a paradigm shift in the European cultural history of dreams that continues to this day (Schmidt-Hannisa 2005: 177). The origin of dreams was relocated to a sub-rational realm within the subject (Engel 2010: 160) and interpreted as the voice of an “Other of reason” (Böhme/Böhme 1983), in which a deeper truth lies beyond logos. The dream phenomenon thus became part of a growing scepticism towards Enlightenment reason in European culture around 1800: The alogical dimension of sensory, bodily or emotional experience was revalued.
The musical discourse also underwent a profound change around 1800: Music was understood as the “language of the unspeakable” (Hoffmann 1810: 631) and thus as the privileged medium of an Other of reason. Music theatre, for its part, draws on these developments. For example, the genre’s constitutive lack of realism has frequently served to locate opera in the realm of the wondrous-dreamlike and/or the unconscious (Stollberg 2004, 2006a and 2006b: 243-272; Rentsch 2007: 194-266).
Finally, numerous examples of music theatrical works from the last 200 years demonstrate the power of the dream to question and renegotiate anthropological paradigms, conceptions of subjectivity, genre typologies and operatic conventions, as well as broad cultural coordinates: from R. Wagner’s works and theoretical writings to K. Saariaho’s operas such as L’amour de loin (2000), Adriana Mater (2006) or Only the Sound Remains (2016), from C. M. v. Weber Der Freischütz (1821), V. Bellini Il pirata (1827), G. Meyerbeer Le prophète (1849) to A. v. Zemlinsky’s Der Traumgörge (1906), F. Schreker’s Der ferne Klang (1911), E. W. Korngold’s Die tote Stadt (1920) or B. Martinů’s Juliette (1938), from S. Sciarrino’s Lohengrin (1983) to L. Berio’s Un re in ascolto (1984), E. Rautavaara’s Das Sonnenhaus (1991), A. Reimann’s Das Schloss (1992), G. F. Haas’ Koma (2015) or O. Neuwirth’s Lost Highway (2003).

Potential lines of inquiry and questions
- Investigations of interrelations between cultural, dream-discursive and genre-immanent changes in music-theatrical works from the 19th to the 21st century: To what extent can correspondences, continuities and/or asynchronies between the three areas be identified?
- Specific dream and music poetics of individual composers and librettists and their contextualisation in the prevailing aesthetic and cultural discourses of their time.
- How does the dream relate to 20th century modernism and its most recent manifestations in the field of music theatre at the turn of the second millennium?
- Intermedial perspectives: What strategies and discourses do aspects such as stage design, lighting, costume, etc. play in relation to the representation of dreams? And what is the role of new media such as film, live streaming, electronic sound and image manipulation, etc. in this context?
- Intercultural dynamics: What typological and medial changes can be observed when music theatre interacts with cultures with a different understanding of the dream phenomenon than that of the Western world?
- One section will be dedicated to the recently deceased Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho. Contributions that analyse and contextualise the presence and function of dreams in her music-theatrical works are welcome.

The conference languages are English and German. Following the conference, selected papers will be published in a volume of the series Tübinger Beiträge zur Musikwissenschaft (Tübingen: Tübingen University Press).

Please send your proposal as an abstract with a maximum length of 3,000 characters (incl. spaces) in German or English together with a short CV as a single Word file by 31.01.2024 to: mauro-fosco.bertola@uni-tuebingen.de

Selected literature / Auswahlbibliographie
- Bertola, Mauro Fosco: An der Schwelle von Geburt und Tod: Elsas Traum in Salvatore Sciarrinos Lohengrin (1983). In Ders.; Christiane Solte-Gresser (eds.): An den Rändern des Lebens. Träume vom Sterben und Geborenwerden in den Künsten. Paderborn: Fink 2019, 101–132.
- Bertola, Mauro Fosco: Operatic Dreams. The Dream in Contemporary Opera. In Bernard Dieterle; Manfred Engel (eds.): Mediating the Dream / Les genres et médias du rêve. Würzburg: Könighausen & Neumann 2020, 655–668.
- Bertola, Mauro Fosco: »Exhale – Inhale – Exhale (etc.)«. Traum, Soma und Musik in Kaija Saariahos ›From the Grammar of Dreams‹ (1988). In: Sophie Mehrbrey; Stephanie Catani (eds.): Träumen mit allen Sinnen. Sinnliche Wahrnehmung in ästhetischen Traumdarstellungen. Paderborn: Fink 2021, 303–318.
- Bertola, Mauro Fosco: Post-Kantian Dreams. Kaija Saariaho’s operatic ontology and its dreamscapes in L’amour de loin. In: M. F. Bertola (ed.): The Sound of Žižek. Musicological Perspectives on Slavoj Žižek. Frankfurt a. M.: Peter Lang 2023, 89–112.
- Böhme, Hartmut; Böhme, Gernot: Das Andere der Vernunft. Zur Entwicklung von Rationalitätsstrukturen am Beispiel Kants. Frankfurt a.M.: Suhrkamp 1983.
- Csobádi, Peter; Gruber, Gernot; Kühnel, Jürgen; Müller, Ulrich; Panagl, Oswald (eds.): Traum und Wirklichkeit in Theater und Musiktheater. Vorträge und Gespräche des Salzburger Symposions 2004. Anif/Salzburg: Mueller-Speiser 2006.
- Engel, Manfred: Kulturgeschichte/n? Ein Modellentwurf am Beispiel der Kultur- und Literaturgeschichte des Traumes. In: KulturPoetik 10/2 (2010), 153–176.
- Hoffmann, Ernst Theodor Amadeus: Rezension der 5. Symphonie von Ludwig van Beethoven. In: Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung 12/40 (1810), 630–642 u. 12/41 (1810), 652–659.
- Redepenning, Dorothea: Traum und Musik: Romantische Opernträume. In: P. Oster; J. Reinstädler (eds.): Traumwelten. Interferenzen zwischen Text, Bild, Musik, Film und Wissenschaft. Paderborn: Fink 2017, 109–132.
- Redepenning, Dorothea: Raskolnikows Traum – Literarisch und musikalisch. In: M. F. Bertola; C. Solte-Gresser (eds.): An den Rändern des Lebens. Träume vom Sterben und Geborenwerden in den Künsten. Paderborn: Fink 2019, 247–262.
- Rentsch, Ivana: Anklänge an die Avantgarde. Bohuslav Martinůs Opern der Zwischenkriegszeit. Stuttgart: Steiner 2007.
- Schmidt-Hannisa, Hans-Walter: »In mir ist ein Tummelplatz von Geschichten«. Traum und Brief bei Bettine von Arnim. In: P. A. Alt; C. Leiteritz (eds.): Traum-Diskurse der Romantik. Berlin: de Gruyter 2005, 176–194.
- Schmidt-Hannisa, Hans-Walter: Die Geburt der Musik aus dem Geist des Traums. Zur Musikästhetik Richard Wagners. In: M. Guthmüller; H.-W. Schmidt-Hannisa (eds.): Das nächtliche Selbst. Traumwissen und Traumkunst im Jahrhundert der Psychologie 1 (1850–1900). Göttingen: Wallstein 2016, 310–327.
- Stenzl, Jürgen: Traum und Musik. In: Musik-Konzepte 74 (1991), 8–102.
- Stollberg, Arne: Durch den Traum zum Leben. Erich Wolfgang Korngolds Oper ›Die tote Stadt‹. Mainz: Are Musik-Verlag 2004.
- Stollberg, Arne: »Ein Traum hat mir den Traum zerstört«. Phantasmagorien des Unbewussten in Erich Wolfgang Korngolds Oper ›Die tote Stadt‹. In: P. Csobádi; G. Gruber; J. Kühnel; U. Müller; O. Panagl (eds.): Traum und Wirklichkeit in Theater und Musiktheater. Vorträge und Gespräche des Salzburger Symposions 2004. Anif/Salzburg: Müller Speiser 2006a, 498–509.
- Stollberg, Arne: Ohr und Auge - Klang und Form. Facetten einer musikästhetischen Dichotomie bei Johann Gottfried Herder, Richard Wagner und Franz Schreker. Stuttgart: Steiner 2006b.
- Stollberg, Arne: Musik und Musikwissenschaft. In: A. Krovoza; C. Walde (eds.): Traum und Schlaf. Ein interdisziplinäres Handbuch. Stuttgart: Metzler 2018, 153–161.