When the music industry breaks down the barriers of time and introduces a whole new generation to opera

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Isabel Villanueva, a teacher in the Faculty of Communication Sciences at UIC Barcelona, presented Ópera en pantalla, del cine al streaming (Opera on Screen, from cinema to streaming) with the book’s co-author, Jaume Radigales. In their work, Villanueva and Radigales examine the relationship between the audio-visual media and the opera. The event was held on 6 November at the Royal Artistic Circle of Barcelona and was also attended by historian Xavier Cazeneuve.

When the music industry breaks down the barriers of time and introduces a whole new generation to opera

In his presentation, Radigales – a teacher at Ramon Llull University and the music critic for Catalunya Música and La Vanguardia – made a historical overview of the media which, as mass phenomena, steered the public interest towards opera. “In the nineteenth century, opera was one of the most exponential forms of entertainment for the general public. Indeed,” he continued, “opera back then was what cinema is now: an art for the masses.” In this respect, Villanueva asserts that “today’s music industry is trying to break down the barriers of time and introduce a whole new generation to opera.”

At another point during the session, Professor Villanueva, basing her argument on the fact that viewers are no longer just physical but virtual, noted that the book is reflects “how we need to conceive opera if ultimately the performance is not experiential.” Thus Opera on Screen talks about the relationships between the opera and non-cinematographic screens such as analogue television, digital media, DVDs, Blu-Ray, the internet and audio-visual advertising. In addition, among other topics, the book analyses the nature of opera, biopics, and the influence of three great opera composers on the cinema: Wagner, Puccini and Mozart.

Meanwhile, Xavier Cazeneuve, who accompanied the two authors during their presentation, explained that, from his point of view, the book “talks to us about the representation of art and its reception” and noted that Opera on the Screen, from cinema to streaming is a work that will “undoubtedly elevate our intellectual level.”