What is Operatic Emotion?J. Q. DaviesAssistant Professor, MusicUniversity of California,Berkeley
François Bouchot,Portrait de laMalibran enDesdémone (1831)Maria Malibran
Henri Decaisne, Portraitof La Malibran asDesdemona in Rossini’sOthello (1831)Maria Malibran
Napoléon Thomas,lithograph ofMalibran asDesdemona (1836)
Head of snarling Dog• TheLondon cartoon on Charles Darwin’s The Expression ofthe Emotions in Man and Animals (1872), Fun X...
ThéodoreChasseriau, Desdemona Retiring to her Bed(1849)
Rossini, “Notte per me funesta,” Otello, Act 3Frederica von Stade vs. José Carreras(1978)PHILIPS CLASSICS DUO 475 448-2
The storm breaks
The storm breaks(Night – for me – fatal!
The storm breaks(Night – for me – fatal!savage, cruel storm!
Increase … with yourthunderbolts,Increase … with your horriblesound
Increase … with yourthunderbolts,Increase … with your horriblesoundO: You INCREASE my fury!D: You INCREASE my horror!)
The storm increases
The storm increasesO Heaven! If you punish meYour severity is just
You dare to insult me!And I still hold back my hand?
Kill me ….
Kill me ….make haste ….
Kill me ….make haste ….glut yourself in my blood,monster!
Let my revenge be complete
Let my revenge be completeAh!
Die! faithless woman!He seizes her and forces her to the bed. As hedraws the dagger, Desdemona faints. Thedagger strikes h...
I have seen Madame Malibran in Otello. She made meweep, shudder, in a word, suffer as if I were present at areal-life scen...
… in the last passionate scene, where Malibran screamsand raves almost disagreeably…. Mme. Malibran is ayoung woman, beaut...
Manuel del PópoloVicente García dansOtello deRossini(Paris: Pacini,1822)
In the scene in which Otello seizes Desdemona for the purposeof stabbing her, Maria perceived that the dagger which herfat...
What is Operatic Emotion?
Images associated with Charles Darwin’s TheExpression of the Emotions in Man andAnimals (1872)
A cardiographic apparatus or sphygmograph by ClaudeBernard, “Sur la physiologie du coeur et ses rapports avec lecerveau,” ...
“The Emotion of Fear,” , “Influence de la vieémotionnelle sur le coeur, la respiration et la circulationcapillaire,” LAnné...
“The Italian Theater,” Jules Janin, Un hiver à Paris (1843), 145
“The Foyer of the Italian Theater,” L’illustration 3/56(23 March 1844), 68.
Malibran’s wonderful voice has a compass of threeoctaves, and she is in her style unique and fascinating….Signora Malibran...
What is Operatic Emotion?
What is Operatic Emotion?• Where do we want our emotions to be?
What is Operatic Emotion?• Where do you want your emotions to be?• All singing is a cultivation of nature
What is Operatic Emotion?• Where do you want your emotions to be?• All singing is a cultivation of nature• We make emotions
What is Operatic Emotion?J. Q. DaviesAssistant Professor, MusicUniversity of California,Berkeley
James Davies - What is operatic emotion?
James Davies - What is operatic emotion?
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  • Thomas, Napoléon (18..-18.. ; lithogr. ). Lithographe
  • RF24317Fonds : DessinsTitre : La Malibran dans le rôle de Desdémone de l'OthelloAuteur : Chasseriau Théodore (1819-1856) peintreCrédit photographique : (C) RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Michèle BellotPériode : 19e siècle, période contemporaine de 1789 à 1914Technique/Matière : pierre noire, rehauts de blanc, sanguineHauteur : 0.218 m.Longueur : 0.177 m.Localisation : Paris, musée du Louvre, D.A.G.Théodore Chassériau (1819–1856)   Title Français : Le coucher de Desdémone.English: Desdemona Retiring to her BedDescription Français :Desdémone est apprêtée par sa servante lors de son coucher. Reprise de la composition de la huitième estampe gravée par l'artiste en 1844, estampes de la suite d'Othello.Date 1849 Medium oil on canvas Dimensions Height: 0.42 m (0.5 yd). Width: 0.32 m (0.3 yd).
  • PHILIPS CLASSICS DUO 475 448-2
  • Contraction of the platysma myoides muscle … muscle of fright. Dr. Duchenne has given another photograph of the same old man, with the platysma contracted, the eyes and mouth opened, and the eyebrows rendered oblique, by means of galvanism.
  • Cardiographic apparatus or sphygmograph of M. Marey for the direct inscription of heart pulsation. From Claude Bernard, "Sur la physiologie du coeur et ses rapports avec le cerveau," in idem, Leçons sur les propriétés des tissus vivants, coll., ed., and arranged by M. Émile Alglave (Paris: Germer Baillière, 1866), p. 438.
  • Emotion of fear (on-line monitoring). The effect of fear on the capillary trace: the word "serpent" was suddenly pronounced. From A. Binet and J. Courtier, "Influence de la vie émotionnelle sur le coeur, la respiration et la circulation capillaire," L'Année Psychologique 3 (1896): 77.
  • 1843 in Jules Janin Un hiver à Paris. Paris. The Theatre Italien (italian theater) around 1840. Drawing by Egène Lami, engraving by C. Mottram.
  • James Davies - What is operatic emotion?

    1. 1. What is Operatic Emotion?J. Q. DaviesAssistant Professor, MusicUniversity of California,Berkeley
    2. 2. François Bouchot,Portrait de laMalibran enDesdémone (1831)Maria Malibran
    3. 3. Henri Decaisne, Portraitof La Malibran asDesdemona in Rossini’sOthello (1831)Maria Malibran
    4. 4. Napoléon Thomas,lithograph ofMalibran asDesdemona (1836)
    5. 5. Head of snarling Dog• TheLondon cartoon on Charles Darwin’s The Expression ofthe Emotions in Man and Animals (1872), Fun XVI (23Nov 1872), 209.
    6. 6. ThéodoreChasseriau, Desdemona Retiring to her Bed(1849)
    7. 7. Rossini, “Notte per me funesta,” Otello, Act 3Frederica von Stade vs. José Carreras(1978)PHILIPS CLASSICS DUO 475 448-2
    8. 8. The storm breaks
    9. 9. The storm breaks(Night – for me – fatal!
    10. 10. The storm breaks(Night – for me – fatal!savage, cruel storm!
    11. 11. Increase … with yourthunderbolts,Increase … with your horriblesound
    12. 12. Increase … with yourthunderbolts,Increase … with your horriblesoundO: You INCREASE my fury!D: You INCREASE my horror!)
    13. 13. The storm increases
    14. 14. The storm increasesO Heaven! If you punish meYour severity is just
    15. 15. You dare to insult me!And I still hold back my hand?
    16. 16. Kill me ….
    17. 17. Kill me ….make haste ….
    18. 18. Kill me ….make haste ….glut yourself in my blood,monster!
    19. 19. Let my revenge be complete
    20. 20. Let my revenge be completeAh!
    21. 21. Die! faithless woman!He seizes her and forces her to the bed. As hedraws the dagger, Desdemona faints. Thedagger strikes home.
    22. 22. I have seen Madame Malibran in Otello. She made meweep, shudder, in a word, suffer as if I were present at areal-life scene. This woman is the premiere genius ofEurope, beautiful as one of Raphaels virgins, simple,energetic, naive, she is the foremost singer and theforemost tragedienne. I’m crazy about her.George Sand, 1831
    23. 23. … in the last passionate scene, where Malibran screamsand raves almost disagreeably…. Mme. Malibran is ayoung woman, beautiful and splendidly made, her hairen toupet, full of fire and power, very coquettish, settingoff her performance partly with clever embellishmentsof her own invention…. She plays beautifully, herattitudes are good, but it is a pity she should so oftenexaggerate and then nearly touch the ridiculous…. I wasalmost tired to death, but held out till a quarter toone, when Malibran was dispatched, panting andscreaming disagreeably.Felix Mendelssohn to his familyLondon April 25, 1829
    24. 24. Manuel del PópoloVicente García dansOtello deRossini(Paris: Pacini,1822)
    25. 25. In the scene in which Otello seizes Desdemona for the purposeof stabbing her, Maria perceived that the dagger which herfather held in his hand was a real instrument of death, and notone of those sham weapons used by actors. Maria immediatelyrecognized the dagger which her father brandished furiously inhis hand…. Maria beheld the deadly weapon approach herbosom, and, frantic with terror, she uttered the words, " Papa!Papa! por Dios no me mates!Maria de las Mercedes Santa Cruz y Montalvo(Countess de Merlin), Madame Malibran(Brussels, 1839), 45.
    26. 26. What is Operatic Emotion?
    27. 27. Images associated with Charles Darwin’s TheExpression of the Emotions in Man andAnimals (1872)
    28. 28. A cardiographic apparatus or sphygmograph by ClaudeBernard, “Sur la physiologie du coeur et ses rapports avec lecerveau,” in Leçons sur les propriétés des tissus vivants
    29. 29. “The Emotion of Fear,” , “Influence de la vieémotionnelle sur le coeur, la respiration et la circulationcapillaire,” LAnnée psychologique 3 (1896): 77.
    30. 30. “The Italian Theater,” Jules Janin, Un hiver à Paris (1843), 145
    31. 31. “The Foyer of the Italian Theater,” L’illustration 3/56(23 March 1844), 68.
    32. 32. Malibran’s wonderful voice has a compass of threeoctaves, and she is in her style unique and fascinating….Signora Malibran gave “Otello;” [Wilhelmine] Schröder-Devrient, Desdemona. Malibran is a much smallerwoman than the German singer, and people thought,several times, that Desdemona would strangle Othello.Frédéric Chopin, Letter to afriend, 6 December 1831
    33. 33. What is Operatic Emotion?
    34. 34. What is Operatic Emotion?• Where do we want our emotions to be?
    35. 35. What is Operatic Emotion?• Where do you want your emotions to be?• All singing is a cultivation of nature
    36. 36. What is Operatic Emotion?• Where do you want your emotions to be?• All singing is a cultivation of nature• We make emotions
    37. 37. What is Operatic Emotion?J. Q. DaviesAssistant Professor, MusicUniversity of California,Berkeley

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