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Roxanne Korda

Music, Birmingham City University

Thesis title:

"Librettising Physics": new anthropomorphic characterisation of physics on a collaborative operatic platform to stimulate audience appreciation of science and opera

My research explores an interdisciplinary approach to creating new opera through the study and knowledge of physics and performance. Within this performance practice-based research I am situated as librettist and performer. Starting from the physics, and performance experience, I construct narratives and relationships that embed the physics with typical human behaviours (e.g. love, anger, regret). The production of the libretto acts as the central feature of the research which is informed by experimentation with performance and research into physics and opera.

Physics responds to our desires to create an understanding of the objective truth of our world. The concepts presented by physics can (and often do) parallel aspects of human emotion and psychology. Opera, as an art form with so much descriptive potential, along with the central directed emotion of the human voice, provides us with a perfect backdrop through which to explore the concepts and “truths” uncovered in the study of physics.

Title – ‘Librettizing’ physics: Using operatic narrative and performance to re-present scientific thought in an investigation of new methods towards developing contemporary opera. 

This can be broken down further to:

1. How can physics be embedded in operatic characters and form?
2. How can different performance techniques be used and directed through the text, to successfully convey complex concepts?

The aims of my research are below:

  1. To investigate and research the creation of new opera through work with interdisciplinary subject matter. 
  2. To develop libretto which embeds and anthropomorphises scientific thought. 
  3. To investigate and research through practice vocal performance techniques for contemporary opera and music theatre.

Research Area

  • Music

Public Engagement & Impact

2019 - WNO Black Country Engage Outreach Freedom program

2019 - Post Workers Theatre at Tate Liverpool

2020 - WNO Black Country Engage Carmen program

2018 - now - Angry Margaret Protest Choir at Birmingham Art School