The Limelight is Looking Towards Nowhere. Beyond Opera Performance


This paper is written as an author’s research in the field of music cognition. The investigation has two main facets. On the on the one part, it explores the situation on perception of the music performance where opera productions (with their plot and context modifications) are nowadays at the center of public attention. The researcher considers phenomenon of opera in the social psychological cross-section of its cognitive problems from the diverse points of view (e. g. of stage directors, orchestra conductors, music performers, theater critics, and audience). On the other part, the thorough study has been conducted in this article to examine a typical psychological attitude of the audience, it concerns music cognition as a whole, so opera turns to be just one of the critical examples in this aspect. Using a NLP-approach as a principal research methodology the author has been analyzing the issues related to the following: music understanding /​emotional experience; the symbolic meaning comprehension; the ways of introduction and dissemination of the cliché ideas on the stage as well as methods for their overcoming; effects from interrelations of personal values, believes, and memory anchors while perceiving text and context. Types of listeners and viewers have been examined in relations to their reference (inner or external) in the process of decision making. Also such components of personal thinking as individual metaprograms, changes of the perception positions, technics of the stereotypes usage and manipulative models has been set out in the context of the opera dramatic composition. Among representative samples of opera staging described in this article are V. Tarnopolsky’s “Beyond the Shadow” (The Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theatre, Moscow, 2015), “Boris Godunov” (The Perm Opera and Ballet Theater, 2015) and others. Being based on a large amount of statements from the first-hand creators of opera performance author also proposes to maintain plural decisions and many-sided approach to the contemporary opera performance interpretations taking into account those cognitive types which have been disclosed in this paper.