Fairy-tale opera and the crossed desires of words and music

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This article considers the idea of contemporary fairy-tale opera, looking in particular at In the House of Crossed Desires (1996), composed by John Woolrich to a libretto by Marina Warner. At the heart of the genre lies a singular crossing of desires: the desire for transformation, expressed and enacted in the fairy tale, and the yearning that is voiced in the impassioned song of opera. Fairy-tale opera thus represents one version of opera's ongoing play with the dramatic crossing of words and music.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-182
Number of pages12
JournalContemporary Music Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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