Note:This scholarly essay is part of a research project submitted in partial fulfillment of the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts in the School of Music. The project also involved the preparation and performance of two lecture recitals related to the essay topic.

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Title:A Singer’s Guide to John Adams’ Opera “A Flowering Tree”, with a Focus on the Character of Kumudha
Author(s):Bang, Joo Young
Advisor(s):Professor Stephen A. Taylor
Contributor(s):Professor Stephen A. Taylor; Professor Michael Silvers; Professor Barrington Coleman; Professor Charlotte Mattax Moersch
Department / Program:School of Music
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:A.Mus.D. (doctoral)
Abstract:The American composer John Adams has addressed global issues in many of his operas including Nixon in China, Doctor Atomic, and The Death of Klinghoffer, although they all feature Americans as main characters. His opera A Flowering Tree is distinguished from these other works, since it is based on a traditional Indian folktale. This study is aimed at professional vocalists, to help them understand the characters and music of A Flowering Tree. This beautiful work, which has not received the attention of some of Adams’ other operas, is a valuable addition to the repertoire. I hope to show that singers can gain a great deal from studying its music and staging. Most importantly, I hope that performers will be able to prepare a better performance through the following analyzes. I will focus especially on the main character Kumudha’s transformation into a flowering tree, based on her emotions and the situation in which she finds herself.
Issue Date:2016
Publisher:University of Illinois
Citation Info:Bang, Joo Young. A Singer’s Guide to John Adams’ Opera “A Flowering Tree”, with a Focus on the Character of Kumudha. Scholarly essay submitted at the University of Illinios Urbana-Champaign School of Music, 2016.
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-12-22

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