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Sydney Musicology Colloquium: Carmen stagings in the interwar period

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      Rachel Marian Campbell

      The next speakers in the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Musicology Colloquium Series will be Elizabeth Kertesz and Michael Christoferidis of the University of Melbourne.

      ‘Revolutionary’ Adaptations of Bizet’s Carmen Between the Two World Wars By the early 20th century Georges Bizet’s Carmen had already been part of a long history of adaptation and operatic renewal. However, during the interwar years new visions of Carmen and its Spanishness emerged, especially in Europe and the USA. This paper will focus on two particularly dynamic periods of Carmen adaptation: the mid-1920s era of new media and modes of theatrical representation, and the late 1930s, coinciding with the Spanish Civil War. The interwar years saw the modernity of the work reinscribed in innovative adaptations of the opera and reworkings of its constituent parts. These reinterpretations engaged with the work’s subtext of class conflict and increasingly aligned the Carmen story with prevailing political ideologies, commencing with Soviet adaptations such as the Moscow Art Theatre Musical Studio’s Carmencita and the Soldier (1924). These new versions of Carmen channeled the sound and look of a modernist Spain, stylizing familiar Romantic imagery, through the fusion of popular and high art elements, as projected through music, dance, and the visual arts. We will illustrate this process with examples from radical stagings of the opera, as well as reconfigurations of the Carmen story in film and dance.

      Wednesday 20 September, 4pm

      On zoom only

      Meeting ID: 818 7953 7217 https://uni-sydney.zoom.us/j/81879537217

      Password: MCS

      All welcome.

      To join the mailing list, email: rachel.campbell@sydney.edu.au

      The subsequent paper will be on 4 October by John Encarnacao, “Album Studies and the Boundaries of Research: Scholarly, literary, journalistic, or an opportunity to mix and match modes.” 

      Kind regards,

      Rachel (on behalf of the MCS committee: Chris Coady, David Larkin and Rachel Campbell)

      DR RACHEL CAMPBELL | Lecturer in Musicology

      Sydney Conservatorium of Music


      Rm 2078, Building C41 | The University of Sydney | NSW | 2006

       rachel.campbell@sydney.edu.au | W  sydney.edu.au/music |

      Gadigal Land of the Eora nation

      Recent work: ‘Primitivism and Settler Primitivism in Music: The Case of John Antill’s Corroboree’, Musical Quarterly 105, no.1-2 (2022)

      Primitive, Exotic, and Australian: The Reception of John Antill’s Corroboree’Journal of Musicology 39, no.4 (2022), 405–431.

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