After a slowdown in operatic creation in the 20th century, contemporary opera is now booming. This revival raises questions about the nature of opera (1), interdisciplinary creation (2) and the future of the genre in relation to new technologies (3). The Canada Research Chair in Opera Creation (CRCOC) addresses these issues through a research-creation approach, with the aim of helping to redefine opera in and for the 21st century.
The CRCOC proposes to reexamine the elements considered essential to the very nature of opera, be they musical (instrumentation, vocal technique employed, etc.), dramaturgical (narrative framework, themes addressed, etc.) or scenic (performance space, physical presence, etc.), from a creative standpoint. In order to redefine opera for the 21st century, it is also necessary to confront the misogyny and colonialism historically inherent in the genre and to propose alternative solutions.
Bringing together music, theatre, visual arts, dance and technological innovation, opera creation has always been a privileged laboratory for interdisciplinary collaboration. The CRCOC approaches the question of the co-creation process from a new angle, combining theoretical reflection on the challenges of interdisciplinary co-creation with a practical exploration of different collaborative modalities and methodologies.
The many possibilities opened up by digital technologies for the creation, production, dissemination and reception of the performing arts are blurring the boundaries between genres, raising questions about the identity of opera and inviting the exploration of new forms that can democratize opera and reach a wider audience. The CRCOC explores these possibilities on both practical (through the creation of operas for augmented and virtual reality, for example) and theoretical levels (through the analysis of hybrid operas, for example, and their reception).
The CRCOC, which represents the first step in the development of a Center for Innovation and Research-Creation in Opera and Contemporary Music, brings together researchers, students and performing arts professionals in partnership with artistic, technological and cultural institutions around its titular composer Ana Sokolović. Their respective contributions, at the crossroads of research and creation, theory and practice, feed the content of this platform in rhythm with the projects, activities and other creations dedicated to it.