Heft 10


August 2021

ISSN 2191-253X

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Opera_Music_Theatre 2020

von Elisabeth van Treeck & Sid Wolters-Tiedge


On the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the Research Institute for Music Theatre Studies (fimt), the tenth issue of ACT–Journal for Music and Performance is dedicated to current trends in contemporary western opera and music theatre.What does it actually mean to compose or create an opera or music theatre nowadays? What are the artists’ methods and approaches? What topics and questions do their compositions negotiate? What is their material, what are their media? What structures, forms, and aesthetics can we observe? Can we possibly describe some sort of general tendencies within these many different aesthetic forms of expression? And how can we grasp all of this from a scholarly perspective?

These are some of the questions addressed by the eight articles in this issue writtenby ten authors whose home offices are located in many places, including Australia, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Germany. Together, their texts provide a kaleidoscopic view onto a dense, but for that very reason stimulating, situation in the field of music theatre. However, as editors we would like to point out two main aspects the individual articles repeatedly draw upon in one or another way.First, there is the reflection on the relationship between ‘opera’ and ‘music theatre’ (‘Musiktheater’ in a wide sense) by focussing on working methods, performance venues, or the question of traditional operatic forms and dramaturgies from various angles.Second, there is a discussion about the relationship between theory and practice. Several analyses show how objects interrogate theory. Two author duos examine their own compositional practice. Conversely, other authors attempt to make abstract, philosophical concepts methodically connectable. In this way, this issue of ACT ultimately shows that subject matter and scholarly debate are not only closely intertwined but also reciprocally affect each other.