MUSICAL THEATER AND THE CLASSICAL VOICE: CROSSOVER SINGING IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
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This dissertation explores the transformation of opera comique (as represented by the opera Carmen) and the impact of verismo style (as represented by the opera La Boheme) upon the development of operetta, American musical theater and the resultant change in vocal style. Late nineteenth-century operetta called for a classically trained soprano voice with a clear vibrato. High tessitura and legato were expected although the quality of the voice was usually lighter in timbre. The dissertation comprises four programs that explore the transformation of vocal and compositional style into the current vocal performance practice of American musical theater. The first two programs are operatic roles and the last two are recital presentations of nineteenth- and twentieth- century operetta and musical theater repertoire. Program one, Carmen, was presented on July 26, 2007 at the Marshall Performing Arts Center in Duluth, MN where I sang the role of Micaela. Program two, La Boheme, was presented on May 24,2008 at Randolph Road Theater in Silver Spring, MD where I sang the role of Musetta. Program three, presented on December 2, 2008 and program four, presented on May 10, 2009 were two recitals featuring operetta and musical theater repertoire. These programs were heard in the Gildenhorn Recital Hall at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center in College Park, MD. Programs one and two are documented in a digital video format available on digital video disc. Programs three and four are documented in a digital audio format available on compact disc. All programs are accompanied by program notes also available in digital format.