In the music art of today there are new genres in which artists with a personal voice finds functional forms to express what they want. But they work almost always in track format, with songs, and with the concert format. During the 1960s and 70s there were experiments with performances like The Who’s rockopera, Les Parapluies de Cherbourg, Michel Legrand’s and Jacques Demi’s jazz opera film from 1960, some were influenced by musical drama of Kurt Weill and Frank Zappa and Pink Floyd made important attempts.
But over the last twenty years, popular culture stuck very much in the format that the mass distribution understand, thus the track form, on disc or on the concert. Perhaps that is why most composers and playwrights have abandoned the pop, rock, jazz, cabaret and sing-a-sonwriter field, and let it be an arena for songwriters or creators of the musicals.
Contemporary composers and music dramatist have instead written in the modernist or neo-classical style of the traditional instruments and voices. Much of this, of course, have a great value, but it has still not been able to take advantage of the freshness and urgency that exists in the new popular musical expressions.
One task for NewOpera CO is to explore how to create dramatic and serious music art that uses tonal and stylistic devices from popular music genres. Or using the classical technique without getting into the impersonal sophistication that so strongly characterize and imprints the classical music scene. It’s about exploring the possibility of making music art rooted in the classical tradition, but with a more popular and personal appeal.