ISSN: 17503159
First published in 2007
3 issues per volume
Volume 6 Issue 1
Cover Date: March 2012
Voices beyond corporeality: Towards the prosthetic body in opera
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Authors:  Jelena Novak 
DOI: 10.1386/smt.6.1.73_1

voice,body,prosthesis,intruder,vocal uniqueness,Michel van der Aa,One,postopera

My theoretical interest in the relationship between body and voice in recent opera was stimulated when I attended a performance of Michel van der Aa’s opera One (2003). In it, soprano Barbara Hannigan, looking identical to her life-size two dimensional video image, ‘competes’ with her ‘second self’ – the projected image and pre-recorded voice. A ventriloquism-like discord between what is seen and heard is significantly different from what is usually experienced in western mainstream operatic repertoire. Voice appears beyond the body that produces it due to technological means that act as a kind of prosthesis to the expressiveness and instrumentality of the singing body. In order to show how the body–voice relationship becomes opera’s major productive force I use the concept of prosthesis by Sandy Stone, the concept of vocal uniqueness by Adriana Cavarero, and the concept of intruder by Jean Luc Nancy to illuminate the relationship between singing body and voice in One.
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