Adaptation Studies, Convention, Vocal Production and Embodied Meaning in Verdi’s Macbeth: Rehabilitating the Brindisi, or, Lady Macbeth Unsexes Herself

Recent work in adaptation studies, particularly in the wake of Linda Hutcheon's A Theory if Adaptation, has provoked a shift from a fidelity- ased critique of the adaptation-as-work to an understanding of adaptation as a creative process, often with a focus on medium specificity. Given this focus, one might assume an interdisciplinary approach to be indispensable in studies of adaptations across media; however, this is frequently not so in practice. To the annoyance of many film scholars, for example, the work on cinematic adaptations of Shakespeare's plays that dominates Shakespearean adaptation studies often does not frame itself as interdisciplinary, taking little account of film theory or cinematic form.1 In contrast, approaches to operatic versions of Shakespeare's plays have been characterised by both an apologetic avoidance of adopting a full-scale interdisciplinary approach and a hyper-awareness of the apparent need for such an approach. Two recent examples suggest the scope of the issue: Julie Sanders makes clear that her monograph, Shakespeare and Music: Ajterfives and Borrowings, is 'written from the vantage point of a literary critic, one with an amateur's love of music and the forms invoked throughout, but one who is certainly not a trained musician or musicologist' (4).

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Published 1 June 2014 in Volume 29 No. 1-2. Subjects: Adaptation, Interdisciplinary studies, Music, Opera, Shakespeare, William, Verdi, Guiseppe.

Cite as: Severn, John R.. ‘Adaptation Studies, Convention, Vocal Production and Embodied Meaning in Verdi’s Macbeth: Rehabilitating the Brindisi, or, Lady Macbeth Unsexes Herself.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 29, no. 1-2, 2014. https://doi.org/10.20314/als.8de43e1595.