Music and Class: An Analysis of the Relationship Between Musical Style and Socioeconomic Status in Mozart's Operas
Emily E. Schnurpfeil
Dr. Phyllis Robertson, Faculty Mentor
Theatrical productions and sociopolitical thought have been closely intertwined throughout history, and opera is no exception. In addition to outright political commentary, some operas reveal cultural attitudes towards social status through both plot and compositional techniques. My research investigates the relationship between the socioeconomic statuses of characters and the musical style in which W. A. Mozart wrote for them in his operas. Sometimes in opposition to his plot lines, his musical choices reinforce social stereotypes about class differences. My presentation will focus on the characteristics of the roles written specifically for lyric sopranos or soubrettes, both upper and lower class. I will present selected arias demonstrating my analysis and conclusions.
Keywords: Mozart, socioeconomic, composition, performance, voice, opera, vocal performance
Presentation Type: Performance Art
Location: OP Performance Hall