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Title: Constantin Stanislavski : acting in opera
Author: Ellerby, Charlotte Jane
ISNI:       0000 0004 2669 5226
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2008
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Constantin Stanislavski initially trained as an opera singer before becoming an actor and director. In 1918 he was invited to give a series of lectures and workshops on the art of acting in opera at the Moscow Bolshoy Theatre, and then he directed a whole series of operas between 1922 and 1932. The opera lectures are found in a book entitled On the Art of the Stage, and one of the singers in Stanislavski's Opera Studio named Pavel Rumyantsev records Stanislavski's work on individual operas in a book entitled Stanislavski on Opera. This thesis argues that these lectures are a major contribution to our understanding of Stanislavski's training of the actor: they were given before the maj or acting texts were written or published, and they constitute a complete system called 'The System and Methods of Creative Art', formed in seven steps of a metaphorical ladder. The lectures have received little or no critical attention and this thesis is therefore unique in the light that it sheds upon the relationship between Stanislavski's systems of acting for opera and for theatre, and the historical and cultural contexts in which the lectures were given. This thesis also challenges the conventional view of Stanislavski as a naturalistic director and posits a binary model which acknowledges his work in fantasy and illusion, both in theatre and opera. Tzvetan Todorov provides a critical language with which to analyse Stanislavski' s approach to operas in the fantastic vein such as Rimsky-Korsakov's A May Night. By contrast, Stanislavski's direction of Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin in 1922 employed a variety of more realist styles. Finally, this thesis examines Stanislavski's contribution to the movement to create a 'synthetic theatre', at the heart of which is a collective ethos and a desire to unite the words, music and action in an organic whole.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available