Best Practice in Artistic Research in Music Symposium
Sydney Conservatorium of Music
27-29 September 2017

As part of my Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) research, this Creative Work Project #1 entitled #voxpopera started to explore the question ‘How might opera define and manifest itself in twenty-first century Australia?’ in an attempt to better understand the cultural landscape of opera in contemporary Sydney.

#voxpopera was an unannounced pop-up 10 minute operatic work in a public space.

In a ten minute foyer performance, as part of the symposium, delegates were witness to practice based research in-action. #voxpopera reinterpreted excerpts of Bizet’s Carmen, through a live exploration of new contemporary telling of this well-known operatic story. The research took excerpts text and situations, in the creation of a hybrid performance which questioned the nature of storytelling and opera today.

The Australian cultural landscape maintains a complex relationship with nationhood, entrenched gender roles, culture and place, which underpins the history and myth-making of the post-colonial Australian national identity currently conserved by institutionalised programming, creation and audience experience of opera performance. #voxpopera was one of a series of investigative performance-based creative provocations exploring opera in contemporary Australia. The research examines audience affective response to opera as installation and hybrid performance in non-traditional public spaces. This research led and curated by Sally Blackwood investigates hybrid models of performance to challenge present institutionalised operatic practice.