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Title:The theatrical collaborators of Richard Strauss: Networks, materials, and cultural politics
Author(s):Prendergast, Ryan Michael
Director of Research:Syer, Katherine
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Robinson, Valleri
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Gilliam, Bryan; Kinderman, William; Liebersohn, Harry
Department / Program:Theatre
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Richard Strauss
Abstract:Richard Strauss remains one of the most recognized and performed opera composers of the twentieth century. Considerations of staging practices have been part of Strauss historiography since the early twentieth century, yet explorations of the composer as a theatrical practitioner and collaborator have been marginalized endeavors. A more in-depth investigation beckons since the varied and challenging demands of Strauss’s stage works meant that a range of expert and trustworthy collaborators were essential for their performance. Using fresh documentary sources, this dissertation problematizes the often-monolithic figure of “the composer” as the principal creative index for musical stage work. The history of Strauss’s theatrical collaborations points instead towards an evolving and increasingly pluralistic approach to music theater as generated by multiple creative actors. Chapter one explores the earliest phase of Strauss’s career, when he gained his first experience as a theatrical practitioner in Meiningen, Munich, Bayreuth, and Weimar. The case studies following focus on three categories of theatrical collaborators: intendants, stage directors, and stage designers. Chapter two examines Strauss’s turbulent relationship with Count Nicolaus von Seebach, the leader of the Court Theater in Dresden, where the composer’s early operatic successes premiered. Chapter three considers stage director Lothar Wallerstein, a strong but overlooked advocate for Strauss’s stage works in Austria. For chapter four, the influence of model productions serves as a springboard to examine two consequential Strauss stage designers: Alfred Roller and Ludwig Sievert. The legacy of these collaborations still resonates today, as interpreters and audiences alike continue to find new riches in the stage works of Richard Strauss.
Issue Date:2021-04-15
Rights Information:Copyright 2021 Ryan Michael Prendergast
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-09-17
Date Deposited:2021-05

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