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Émilie by Kaija Saariaho monodrama-portrait
Saamishvili Natalia

Post-graduate student, department of Analytical Musicology, The Gnessin State Musical College; Scientific Associate, State University of Art History

125413, Russia, Moscow, Flotskaya Street 29, building #3, unit #381





Émilie is the newest of the three operas of the renowned contemporary composer Kaija Saariaho, which premiered in 2010. As in two other musical-theatrical oeuvres of the composer the operas L'Amour de loin (2000) and Adriana Mater (2004-2005), there is a female character in the center. The monodramas heroine is a French mathematician and physicist, Voltaires muse Émilie du Châtelet. The goal of this article is to demonstrate the peculiarities of dramaturgy and compositional-technical side of the opera. The author used the methods of systemic and historical approaches, comparative and stylistic analysis, as well as literary and music sources. Multiple qualities of style that are characteristic to Saariajo are manifested in this opera. But at the same time, we can notice the new features, not inherent to the earlier oeuvres of the composer. First and foremost, it is the accent on certain repeated melodic, rhythmic, and sound combinations, which in one or another way correlate with the imagery-dramatic lines of the libretto. Adopting a new style, the composer experiments with structure and musical means that are new to her repertoire by creating a remarkably vivid and rich portrait of the personality that is tormented by the internal conflicts and controversies, unlike any of her previous compositions.

Keywords: contemporary music, contemporary opera, Saint Lambert, Voltaire, Emilie du Chatelet, Amin Maalouf, the Age of Enlightenment, monodrama, Emilie, Kaija Saariaho



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This article written in Russian. You can find full text of article in Russian here .

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