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Preparing for Operatic Roles by Combining Elements of Stanislavsky’s System with Alfreds’ Actioning

This thesis examines the process of preparing for operatic roles by combining elements of Constantin Stanislavsky’s ‘system’ with Mike Alfreds’ Actioning. The research is presented as a report of a practice-led experiment, using myself as subject, to test the efficacy of Actioning within my Stanislavskian-influenced dramatic character preparation process for operatic roles. This study was undertaken by the singer-actor/researcher as four applied case studies which integrate dramatic character preparation within the early preparation stages of the music/role-learning process. The purpose of this study is to encourage the development of dramatic self-sufficiency for the singer-actor by testing the validity and adaptability of Actioning to improve the efficiency of their dramatic character preparation in the practice studio (general private practice/rehearsal space). This research follows a practice-led methodology presented through four applied case studies on the roles of Carmen (Carmen), Carlotta Giudicelli (The Phantom of the Opera) in two productions, and Micaëla (Carmen) with particular focus on her aria "Je dis que rien ne m’épouvante" for the Final DMA Recital. Chapter One introduces the focus of the thesis and an overview of the research. Chapter Two covers the relevant literature and justifies the research inquiry. Chapter Three establishes the methodological approach. Chapter Four comprises the four applied case studies of Carmen, Carlotta and Micaëla; and Chapter Five discusses the findings and limitations of the thesis, and offers suggestions for future research. This study makes three important contributions to the growing literature surrounding dramatic role preparation for the singer-actor. Firstly, this research tests the efficacy of Actioning in combination with Stanislavskian techniques specifically for the operatic singer-actor. Secondly, the process of Actioning is adapted to suit the singer-actor’s dramatic preparation process in the practice studio, establishing it as a valid and practical preparatory technique for the singer-actor. Thirdly, this thesis provides an expedient and practical model for dramatic character preparation, increasing dramatic self-sufficiency for the singer-actor as well as revealing the practice studio as a valid space for dramatic character preparation.
Type of thesis
Dams, J. (2017). Preparing for Operatic Roles by Combining Elements of Stanislavsky’s System with Alfreds’ Actioning (Thesis, Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/11380
The University of Waikato
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