DOI: https://doi.org/10.31318/2522-4190.2020.127.213889

Post-Modern Reception of the Idea of Two People in the Tan Dun’s Opera “Marco Polo”

Le Liu

Abstract


Relevance of the study. Contemporary operas by Chinese composers are of undoubted interest to modern musicology. Tan Dun's creative experiments are extremely interesting. His operas demonstrate the search of the contemporary composer whose interests lie at the crossroads of national oriental and academic opera traditions. Thus, in the opera “Marco Polo” the concept of dichotomy and multiculturalism receives the status of the main ideas. The study of this aspect of opera is an urgent and prerogative task in the process of understanding the operatic experience of Chinese composers.

Main objective of the study is to identify the peculiarities of reading the concept of the two worlds in the opera “Marco Polo” through the prism of the postmodern search of Tan Dun.

Methodology. To achieve this goal, the following scientific methods were used: historiographical (studying stages of development of Chinese opera), the method of stylistic attribution (determining the stylistic components of opera and creative constants of Tan Dun’s style), structuralfunctional method (determining the peculiarities of opera) and semantic analysis (determining the semantic layers of the work associated with the idea of the two worlds).

The main results / findings and conclusions. It was found that the idea of the two worlds of “Marco Polo's” opera was generated by the aesthetics of postmodernism, as a result of which the work became a cross-cultural art project that combined several languages, cultures and periods of time. The symbolism of the plot, which is nourished by Eastern and Western aesthetic and philosophical ideas, combining in the concept of two worlds, is determined. It is noted that the composer managed to preserve the cultural differences of both worlds. The Asian world is presented in a generalized way – in the form of stylizations, which are based on the fricative, rhythmic, instrumental and performance features of oriental music within the traditions of neo-orientalism. Western music is more specific – through the prism of compositional styles in a number of quotations and allusions, as well as in the involvement of avant-garde compositional techniques. Based on this, a conclusion was made about the dominance of Western tendencies in general and the traditions of postmodernism in particular in the world of “Marco Polo”, to which elements of the Asian musical style are subordinated.

A detailed study of Tan Dun's opera expands the understanding of contemporary Chinese opera, contributes to the deepening of knowledge on the development of the opera genre and allows you to navigate within the eclectic space of postmodern art.


Keywords


Tan Dun's pieces; Chinese opera; the concept of double word; the opera “Marco Polo”; the postmodern opera

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