E. Margaret Cormier
My dissertation explores contemporary performance practice around representing sexual violence on the operatic stage. I analyze productions of several canonic operas since 2000, considering how the staging of sexual violence affects the stories these operas tell, and the ways those stories resonate with present-day audiences in their cultural and political contexts. My production analyses operate at two levels: the agency of the female characters victimized by sexual violence in the work; and the aesthetic/dramatic choices made by the production team in putting acts of sexual violence onstage. Ultimately, I am interested in the cultural work these representations of sexual violence do, how they function, and what is at stake when we put rape onstage. This project takes the work of contemporary opera practitioners seriously, bringing it into the purview of opera studies and feminist theatre studies to explore the very real ways in which it resonates with our changing culture and ideas.
Supervisor(s): Lloyd Whitesell/Lisa Barg