Note:This thesis 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 a recital of music related to the thesis topic.

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Title:William Bolcom's musical characterization of four soprano roles in his opera A Wedding
Advisor(s):Taylor, Stephen
Contributor(s):Taylor, Stephen; Moersch, Charlotte Mattax; Parisi, Susan; Herrera, Ricardo
Department / Program:School of Music
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:A.Mus.D. (doctoral)
Subject(s):William Bolcom
A wedding
Performance practice
Arnold Weinstein
Robert Altman
Abstract:William Bolcom’s first comic opera, A Wedding (2004) has received little attention in the academic literature. This study examines the characteristics of the four main soprano roles: a wedding planner, Rita; the mother of the bride, Tulip; the mother of the groom, Victoria; and the bride, Muffin. I discuss the musical features of the sopranos’ arias to show how the characters are distinctively illustrated through the musical language of their arias. Five arias by the principal female roles are analyzed, including Rita’s aria (Act One Prologue) when she is preparing for the wedding; Victoria’s aria (Act One, Scene Seven) when she needs a morphine shot; Tulip’s two arias (Act One, Scene nine) when she falls in love with Jules, who is an uncle of the groom; and Muffin’s aria (Act Two, Scene Seven) when she recalls her memories of first meeting Dino, the groom. In addition, I provide performance advice for singing and acting to assist performers who are studying or preparing the arias. This thesis consists of an introduction and four chapters. After an introduction, the first chapter contains biographical sketches of William Bolcom, Arnold Weinstein, and Robert Altman. The second chapter provides the compositional background, gives an overview of the musical styles in A Wedding, and includes a detailed synopsis. The third chapter discusses the characteristics of the selected soprano roles, and the text and musical features of their respective arias. The final chapter takes up specific performance practice problems pertaining to singing and acting in the selected arias.
Issue Date:2018
Publisher:School of Music, College of Fine and Applied Arts, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Genre:Dissertation / Thesis
Rights Information:Copyright 2018 Mileeaye Kwon
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-04-19

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