The multi-vocal nature of operatic narrative-not the narrative of dramatic plot, but the musical narrative that dialogically addresses it-provides a model for the study of narrative dynamics in many kinds of performed texts. Scholars applying Bakhtin ‘s dialogics to Shostakovich’s music have developed a range of approaches (biographical, intertextual, formal) to interpretive problems. Combining these approaches suggests new answers to longstanding questions concerning the opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk District: questions about the relationship of self-quotation to “public” and “hidden” transcripts; the role of orchestral “narration” informing what one critic calls the “conscience of the tale” the relationship of such narration to extramusical paraphrase; and the ways in which an artist’s “operatic” impulse, following official condemnation and censorship, seeks more acceptable forms of public expression.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Visual Arts and Performing Arts
- Literature and Literary Theory