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TURNING TRICKS AND THE MODERN FEMALE PROTAGONIST: AN ANALYSIS OF THE PORTRAYAL OF THE ROLE OF THE DEMIMONDE FROM VIENNESE OPERETTA TO MODERN AMERICAN MUSICAL THEATRE

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Date Issued:
2008
Abstract/Description:
The demimondaine, an exclusive courtesan in nineteenth-century Europe, and the modern mezzo-soprano protagonist are prevalent characters in American musical theatre and can be observed in various styles throughout European music and drama. In Arthur Schnitzler's The Little Comedy, the female protagonist is both a romantic heroine and mistress; and in Jules Renard's Le Pain de Ménage, the lead player is anything but the classic ingénue. In preparation for performance and to further the research in the contemporary music comedy realm, I prepared for the roles of Josefine and Monica in the University of Central Florida's production of Barry Harman and Keith Herrmann's Romance, Romance through in-depth analysis on the performance development process of two distinct female protagonist characters. I first researched the historical world of the demimonde: identifying key characteristics of these famed courtesans and their fashionable emergence as "tart with a heart" characters in nineteenth-century dramatic works. Second, I traced the evolution of the "fallen woman" archetypal character and the mezzo-soprano from European grand opera and realism to contemporary musical theatre. This research better defined my character type and therefore assisted in performance preparation. Third, Act I's The Little Comedy is a period piece set in nineteenth-century Vienna, and Harman's and Herrmann's adaptation reflect the musical and social aspects of the time. Through historical research on operetta style and the creators' perspectives, I more fully developed my understanding and performance interpretation in Romance, Romance. Finally, I evaluated my characterization process with a discussion of the practical implementation of research on the musical performance process. This thesis document adds to the wealth of pre-existing musical theatre character analysis and discusses key components associated with the development of the modern female protagonist. Identifying the evolution of the "tart with a heart" stock character from its European origins to its current Broadway prominence, this manuscript advances the academic field with the illumination of the demimonde in American musical theatre. Last, for the purpose of developing believable and realistic characters for musical performance, this document analyzes and evaluates the research methods used to inform the rehearsal process when developing two female protagonist characters in contemporary musical theatre.
Title: TURNING TRICKS AND THE MODERN FEMALE PROTAGONIST: AN ANALYSIS OF THE PORTRAYAL OF THE ROLE OF THE DEMIMONDE FROM VIENNESE OPERETTA TO MODERN AMERICAN MUSICAL THEATRE.
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Name(s): Nay, Melissa, Author
Weaver, Earl, Committee Chair
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2008
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: The demimondaine, an exclusive courtesan in nineteenth-century Europe, and the modern mezzo-soprano protagonist are prevalent characters in American musical theatre and can be observed in various styles throughout European music and drama. In Arthur Schnitzler's The Little Comedy, the female protagonist is both a romantic heroine and mistress; and in Jules Renard's Le Pain de Ménage, the lead player is anything but the classic ingénue. In preparation for performance and to further the research in the contemporary music comedy realm, I prepared for the roles of Josefine and Monica in the University of Central Florida's production of Barry Harman and Keith Herrmann's Romance, Romance through in-depth analysis on the performance development process of two distinct female protagonist characters. I first researched the historical world of the demimonde: identifying key characteristics of these famed courtesans and their fashionable emergence as "tart with a heart" characters in nineteenth-century dramatic works. Second, I traced the evolution of the "fallen woman" archetypal character and the mezzo-soprano from European grand opera and realism to contemporary musical theatre. This research better defined my character type and therefore assisted in performance preparation. Third, Act I's The Little Comedy is a period piece set in nineteenth-century Vienna, and Harman's and Herrmann's adaptation reflect the musical and social aspects of the time. Through historical research on operetta style and the creators' perspectives, I more fully developed my understanding and performance interpretation in Romance, Romance. Finally, I evaluated my characterization process with a discussion of the practical implementation of research on the musical performance process. This thesis document adds to the wealth of pre-existing musical theatre character analysis and discusses key components associated with the development of the modern female protagonist. Identifying the evolution of the "tart with a heart" stock character from its European origins to its current Broadway prominence, this manuscript advances the academic field with the illumination of the demimonde in American musical theatre. Last, for the purpose of developing believable and realistic characters for musical performance, this document analyzes and evaluates the research methods used to inform the rehearsal process when developing two female protagonist characters in contemporary musical theatre.
Identifier: CFE0002470 (IID), ucf:47710 (fedora)
Note(s): 2008-12-01
M.F.A.
Arts and Humanities, Department of Theatre
Masters
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): theater
drama
music
womens studies
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0002470
Restrictions on Access: public
Host Institution: UCF

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