Music Theatre

Music Theatre

The aim of the Music Theatre working group is to examine a broad range of methodological and theoretical perspectives on all kinds of music theatre, from opera and popular forms (such as Broadway and British musicals) to contemporary experiments with new forms of music theatre.

The background for the working group lies in our perception of the need to find new ways to deal with a subject which is part of at least two disciplines – theatre studies and musicology – but which is not, in fact, at home in either field. In our experience, musicologists tend to ignore the performance aspects and theatre scholars often forget about the music, so there is no doubt that we need to discuss music theatre from an interdisciplinary perspective. What our approaches all have in common is that they start from a notion of music theatre as theatre, performance and experience, always dealing with the interplay between all of the senses. Certainly not exhaustive, some areas of concern that extend to theatre and performance, broadly understood, include:

  • Acoustemologies of theatre / performance
  • Music in / as theatre and performance
  • Performativities of song and dance
  • Materialities of the voice
  • Phenomenology of sound / music in performance
  • Hearing cultures in performance: Cultural sounds and sounds in culture
  • Politics and aesthetics of Opera
  • Politics and aesthetics of Musicals
  • Composed Theatre
  • The Broadway and British Musical
  • Experimental music theatre
  • Hermeneutics of auditory reception in performance
  • Aurality and performance; Listening and Voice
  • Philosophies of sound / music in performance
  • Politics of silence
  • Noise / Music
  • Intersections of music, sound and the performing body
  • The Actor-Singer-Dancer

We welcome any scholar who works in the areas of sound / music and performance and would love for you to join us.
If you would like to know more about the Working Group, or if you have changed your e-mail-address, please contact the convenors (see below). 

WORKPLAN 2015-2018
The Working Group is a forum for the discussion of the field of music and/in theatre, broadly. This includes forms of music theatre, musical theatre, opera, soundscapes in performance and sound in performance. The Working Group would like to develop critical scholarship in these specific areas and supports projects that may arise from interests the develop such fields (publications, conferences, open panels, etc.). 

CONFERENCE REPORTS
Belgrade 2018
The Working Group will be meeting in Belgrade for the IFTR conference 2018.

Sao Paulo 2017
The Working Group did not manage to meet in Sao Paulo 

Stockolm 2016
The Working Group met in Stockholm with twenty papers presented by WG members; there were many additional participants who sat in the sessions to contribute to the proceedings. There was significant focus on musical theatre, such as Hair and Hamilton, and opera with other papers examining the role of music in Shakespeare performance. A discussion on a possible Working Group publication was discussed at the Working Group meeting. In addition to the Working Group sessions, the Working Group also sponsored a panel, 'Sacre Variations: Adorno, Disney, Le Roy.'

Hyderabad 2015
The Working Group did not meet for IFTR 2015.

PUBLICATIONS
The group has published two edited collections with essays derived from discussions of the working group and comprised of chapters contributed by individual members.

The Legacy of Opera: Music Theatre as Experience and Performance (Rodopi Press, 2013) 

The first collection considers the way in which ideological and cultural assumptions have impacted on our contemporary view of music theatre, focussing in particular on the way that opera’s development as a form and status as an art has inscribed a very particular set of assumptions and expectations about the musical stage that twentieth century developments have had to negotiate. In this respect, opera is seen as a defining cultural form and practice whose shadow looms large over the popular and modernising developments of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Gestures of Music Theatre: The Performativity of Song and Dance (Oxford University Press, 2013). 

There are two principal questions posed through this series of essays: how do song and dance function as physical and material gestures, as dimensions or perhaps sub-sets of music theatre works? How might identities be constituted for characters, performers and audiences within and through the song and dance of music theatre? The first consideration, through a series of philosophical discussions, engages with music theatre’s substance, function and form; the second, through analyses of those song and dance gestures in a range of music theatre contexts, engages with its reception, effect and affect.


CONVENORS:
Marcus Tan (
tanmc@tcd.ie; marcus.tan@nie.edu.sg) [2019-2022]
Tereza Havelkova (tereza.havelkova@ff.cuni.cz) [2019-2022]


CALL FOR PAPERS, IFTR 2018 Belgrade, Serbia

CALL FOR PAPERS, IFTR 2018 Belgrade, Serbia

06 December, 2017 by Marcus Tan | 0 comments

The IFTR Music Theatre Working Group will be meeting at the IFTR conference in Belgrade, Serbia 9-13 July 2018. Read more

CFP IFTR 2017 Music Theatre WG

CFP IFTR 2017 Music Theatre WG

14 December, 2016 by Marcus Tan | 0 comments

The IFTR Music Theatre Working Group will be meeting at the IFTR conference in São Paulo, Brazil, 10-14 July 2017. Read more

IFTR2016 Stockholm Music Theatre WG Preliminary Schedule

IFTR2016 Stockholm Music Theatre WG Preliminary Schedule

16 April, 2016 by Marcus Tan | 0 comments

The table contains the preliminary schedule for the Music Theatre WG sessions this coming conference in Stockholm. Read more

Senior Lecturer in Musical Theatre, University of Winchester

Senior Lecturer in Musical Theatre, University of Winchester

28 October, 2015 | 0 comments

BA Musical Theatre is the newest degree programme in the department of Performing Arts at the University of Winchester. It builds on the success of the innovative BA Vocal and Choral Studies and the research expertise of staff at Winchester. As such the programme has a strong focus on the interaction of theory and practice, and on the development of vocal performance. Read more

CFP: Music Theatre WG, IFTR Stockholm, 2016

CFP: Music Theatre WG, IFTR Stockholm, 2016

11 September, 2015 | 0 comments

In keeping with the conference theme of “Presenting the Past”, we would like to invite existing and new WG members to submit papers on any aspect of music and sound as they relate to the conference themes of history, historiography, theatrical artefacts, practices and discourses. Read more

The Role of the Choreographer in the Stage and Screen Musical: Call for Papers

The Role of the Choreographer in the Stage and Screen Musical: Call for Papers

31 August, 2015 | 0 comments

Society for Dance Research/DANSOX The Role of the Choreographer in the Stage and Screen Musical Call for Papers Saturday 28th November 2015 Jacqueline du Pré Music Building, St Hilda's College, Oxford 11am-6pm Confirmed Keynotes: Professor Millie Taylor (University of Winchester, UK) Discussion with distinguished choreographer to be confirmed. Read more

Stay up to date with the IFTR Weekly Digest