Hi "mcg"mcg wrote: ↑Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:24 pmNow please don't bite my head off, but I have recently found myself wondering if classical performers could do more to make their 'shows' more interesting.
The paradigm of audience walking in, artist(s) playing set repertoire, audience applauding, audience walking out etc seems somewhat arcane. How about shows with strong stories, themes or narratives that overlie the music? How about collaboration with other artists (actors? visual artists? film makers? photographers?) to create something more dimensional than a straightforward classical music recital?
Well, historically, this is what Opera was: a combination of Music, Literature, Drama, Dance, Visual Art, Architecture, Costume and Textiles, and sometimes even Religion and politics, all blended together into a whole. Nowadays, of course, all we have are the remnants: e.g. the banality of The Heavy Metal Concert, which pretty much tries to do the same thing.
But not every Multi-Media event needs to have lasers, dancing dwarves, and a model of Stonehenge!
Thinking about it more constructively, every show is a "multi-media" event. Many people are ignorant of this, but we simultaneously get input from ALL our senses. This begins with the choice of a venue: large or small? indoors or out? hot or cold? color and brightness of light? proximity to stage? printed program? dress "code"? texture of walls & decor? Is wine being served? We get plenty of visual and tactile sensations before a single note is played!
Moving farther along the continuum: most concerts I see, even from our local ensembles, are based along programmatic themes. I think this is pretty much essential to a successful performance. Even something as basic as "Fast-slow-fast", or "a Christmas Concert" or choosing something memorable and tuneful for the final piece counts.
I have been to many recitals where relevant works of Art were displayed during the performance (I have even done this myself!) ranging from a display of paintings at the entrance of the hall, to photographs projected onto a screen alongside the performer. If done right, the combination enhances the meaning of each opposing media; for example, a performance of Tedesco's Caprichos de Goya can make a lot more sense if Goya's etchings can be seen during the performance, or the music of Platero y Yo along with a narrator reading the relevant chapter, etc.
However, sometimes the subtle restraint of a "traditional" concert is part of the appeal, you know: dress up, have a nice meal, see the concert, go out for drinks and dessert afterwards... hey, we have the opportunity to savor the aristocratic life for a few brief hours!
But i think one of the biggest difficulties is the act of collaborating. What gets center stage...the Soprano or the Art Installation? Someone, an impresario, needs to be in charge. And artists are notorious individualists; we wouldn't want the Soprano storming offstage because the color of her gown clashed with the slide show. It is a rare musician who has enough understanding of other arts to be able to program them effectively!
If you want "interesting", well, do something different. It doesn't have to be shocking, just different. Try performing in a stairwell, or at a friend's auto shop. I have done both, and while I'm not famous, I think a few people might at least remember the show!
"mcg", I think you should plan your own recitals! Make events out of them! Find out what works. Eventually, you might build up a circle of like-minded Art-folks. Who knows where it might lead?