Opera Dance

American Indian opera is a subgenre of music of the United States. It began with composer Gertrude Bonnin (1876-1938), also known as Zitkala-Sa ('Red Bird' in Lakota). Bonnin drew from her Yankton Sioux heritage for both her libretto and songs for the opera The Sun Dance. This full-scale opera was composed with William F. Hanson, a musician and teacher at Brigham Young University.[1]

  1. Opera Dance Music
  2. Opera Dance Videos 2017

Opera Dance Music

Opera DancePrincess

Significance[edit]

Dance and opera proceed according to different time schemes. Vocal music often needs time in which to unfold, if sung words are to be understood and their emotional points are to register. She has conducted both dance and opera productions at the Boston Conservatory, as well as concerts with Boston's Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra and Boston Landmarks Orchestra. Her involvement in contemporary music has included conducting in the Music at the Anthology Series in New York City and leading the national tour of Philip Glass's Les. Enjoy a full season of dance at the historic Marigny Opera House, performed by New Orleans’ resident contemporary ballet company! About Founded in 2014, the Marigny Opera Ballet is a professional contemporary ballet company based in the Marigny Opera House of New Orleans. Opra Dancewear was founded by a mother and daughter duo workingtogether in order to bring you the best in dance and activewear! All of ourproducts are proudly made and manufactured in the USA.

Unlike the 'American Indianist' attempts to create operas with American Indian themes (see selected list below), with librettos written and music composed by non-Indians, The Sun Dance (1913) was a collaboration in which Zitkala-Sa contributed some of the music, although for years she received no credit. She had studied classical music.[2] After teaching music and studying violin at Boston's New England Conservatory of Music, Bonnin worked with Hanson in Utah to compose an American Indian opera.

Opera Dance

Bonnin performed and transcribed 'Sioux melodies', to which she and Hanson added harmonies and lyrics.[3] Because American Indian melodies had been an oral tradition, trying to adapt them to use in an opera was, according to Warburton, 'like forcing a proverbial square peg into a round hole.'[4] Bonnin and Hanson successfully managed the transition. Ute singers and dancers performed in the opera, although the major roles were performed by European-American singers with opera training.[4]

Peking opera dance

The importance of Bonnin for American Indian opera cannot be underestimated but scholars do not agree on the extent of her role. Few if any American operas on American Indian themes, using indigenous performers, have been composed by American Indians since her era. This Yankton woman was likely the first indigenous composer who can be considered to have achieved this. According to Catherine Parsons Smith, she was aided by William F. Hanson, who taught at Brigham Young University. He continued to compose works based on Native American themes.[5][6] But Hanson is generally credited as composer for the opera, and Tara Browner describes Zitkala-Sa as a contributor.[7]

Selected 'Indianist' operas by non-indigenous composers[edit]

  • Nevin, Arthur F. (1907). Poia, opera. Carnegie Hall.
  • Cadman, Charles Wakefield (1912), Nelle Richmond Eberhart, and Francis LaFlesche (Omaha). Da-O-Ma: Ramala (Land of Misty Water), opera in four acts. It was never published or produced. (Note: This opera was written in collaboration with Francis La Flesche (Omaha), so it appears to be similar to Zitkala-sa's joint project. See Sherry L. Smith, 'Francis LaFlesche and the World of Letters,' American Indian Quarterly 25.4 (2001): 579-603.)
  • Cadman and Nelle Eberhart (1894-1943), and Tsianina Redfeather Blackstone (Creek), Shanewis (or The Robin Woman) (1918). Metropolitan Opera. Note: Blackstone was not given official credit.[7]
  • Freer, Eleanor Everest (1927). The Chilkoot Maiden, opera in one act. Skagway, Alaska.
  • Carter, Ernest Trow (1931). The Blonde Donna: The Fiesta at Santa Barbara, opera comique. Heckscher Theater, New York.
  • Smith, Julia Frances (1939). Cynthia Parker, opera in one act. North Texas State University, Denton.

American Indian opera by American Indian composers[edit]

  • Bonnin, Gertrude, and Hanson, William F. (1913). The Sun Dance, grand opera. Premiered in Orpheus Hall, Vernal, Utah.

See also[edit]

  • Barbara McAlister (Cherokee Nation), mezzo-soprano opera singer

References[edit]

Dance
  1. ^Hafen, P. Jane, edit (2001). Dreams and Thunder: Stories, Poems and The Sun Dance Opera. University of Lincoln Press, pg. xiii.
  2. ^Warburton, Thomas, edit (1999). The Sun Bride: A Pueblo Opera. A-R Editions, Inc. pg. xi
  3. ^Warburton, pg. 126
  4. ^ abWarburton, pg. 127
  5. ^Catherine Parsons Smith, 'An operatic skeleton on the western frontier: Zitkala-Sa, William F. Hanson, and The Sun Dance Opera', Women & Music, 1 Jan 2001, accessed 4 Dec 2008
  6. ^'William F. Hanson'[permanent dead link], Brigham Young University, accessed 4 Dec 2008
  7. ^ abPamela Karantonis, Dylan Robinson. Opera Indigene: Re/presenting First Nations and Indigenous Cultures, Routledge, 2016, p. 178

Opera Dance Videos 2017

Retrieved from 'https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=American_Indian_opera&oldid=1008423952'