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A Guide to Transcryptum


The following Doctoral Dissertation represents the culmination of nearly three years of work in the UCSD department of music. After completing my qualification exams I started to work on a large-scale composition: Transcyptum, opera-installation, which was commissioned by Grand Theater National Opera in Warsaw and premiered in May 2013. This paper combines the most crucial elements of my research, discusses concept of "opera-installation" and most importantly explains the realization process of Transcryptum.

After one year of working on Transcryptum I realized that this opera would certainly transcend the traditional frames of its genre. A strong influence of visual arts, the rejection of setting text to music, and an inability to find an adequate director who would understand the nature of my work encouraged me to combine 3 roles in one: composer, director, and librettist.

Making the decision to fulfill those three positions was inspired by a longtime fascination of interdisciplinary work by one of the fathers of music theater Heiner Goebbles, who creates and supervises most of the layers in his complex stage works from texts, stage directions, and dramaturgy to composing music.

In Warsaw performance of Transcryptum the audience was divided into 5 groups, following 5 different trails and exploring vast off stage spaces of the opera house where they encountered performers, objects, and installations.

The aim of this dissertation is not only to present and discuss the music composed for Transcryptum, but also to explain the structure of the opera's performance and to guide a reader through all the elements of the opera, which were seen and heard by the audience.

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